State Secretary Ivan Bošnjak stated at an on-line meeting at which the OECD / SIGMA publication “Government at glance – Western Balkans” was presented that Serbia was working intensively on the new public administration reform strategy for 2021-2030 and that it was based on SIGMA principles of good governance with particular respect for all previous monitoring reports and recommendations prepared by SIGMA.
He highlighted that the development of e-government was a high priority of the Government, which as a consequence has led to the achievement of successful results in the introduction of e-services for end users, as well as in the digitalization of the government’s and complete public administration’s work, whereby a new e-government program has also been adopted.
Reforms are gradually focusing more on the needs of the citizens and an increasing number of results are being recognized at the local level, where citizens usually come into contact with the public administration. “The past period was characterized by a large number of adopted regulations and strategic documents that enabled the launch of a large number of eServices, which shifted the focus from an administration as a regulator to an administration as a service for citizens and the economy”, said the Secretary of State, providing examples such as on-line enrolment of children into kindergartens and schools, local tax administrations’ portals, the portal of the Ministry of Justice dedicated to the register of unpaid fines, the possibility of iPay, eService for issuing certificates of no criminal records, eTaxes and so-forth.
Bošnjak explained that efforts are being made to digitize internal processes and procedures through the reform process and that contact centres had been opened in the previous period that enable electronic data exchange between state authorities and citizens and state bodies and economic entities, whereby web portals of the Government and state administration bodies have been amended in order to be more citizen-oriented and information access centres for citizens and administration – SKIP centres – have been opened and are successfully operating. The added value of public administration reform is represented by numerous activities related to achieving administration that functions without paper or seals.
The State Secretary pointed out that the OECD/ SIGMA’s long-term support and cooperation with the Republic of Serbia represented a very significant contribution to measuring the success in the implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy and Action Plan and further directing the reform processes.
“This type of monitoring and measuring dedicated to the further course of reforms represents a significant contribution to the creation of fact-based policies. For us, the analysis of the current situation in the field of public administration and public administration reform in the region through the perspective of EU accession is of particular relevance”, stated Bošnjak.
The publication “Government at glance – Western Balkans”, which analyzes public finances, economy, employment in public administration, institutions, practices and procedures related to the budget, human resources management, public procurement and eGovernment in the Western Balkans, has showed that in 2019 the citizens of Serbia had the most trust in their Government compared to other countries in the Western Balkans, which is an increase of 14 percentage points compared to 2007.