Public administration reform is high among the priorities of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, but also one of the prerequisites for joining the European Union, together with the rule of law and economic governance. The reason is that only with the appropriate administrative capacity Serbia can implement all the necessary reforms foreseen by the process of accession to the European Union and negotiating chapters. Only with adequate administrative capacity can the state provide efficient services to citizens and the economy.
Public administration reform has its own strategic framework – the Public Administration Reform Strategy and the Action Plan. This strategic document, which was adopted in 2014, extended the scope, and from the earlier reform that concerned only state administration, the activities now apply to public administration (excluding public enterprises). Reform changes relate to a system that includes about 500,000 employees.
The goals of the reform are better organization of public administration, strengthening the process of public policy management, development of a modern and professional civil service system, improvement of the system of local self-government, digitization and development of e-government, improvement of public financial management, strengthening of internal and external control of public administration, improvement of transparency and openness of work administration as a whole.
Through the Strategy and Action Plans, five goals are defined:
• Improvement of organizational and functional sub-systems of public administration
• Establishment of a coherent merit-based public administration system and the improvement of human resources management
• Improving public finance management and public procurement
• Improving administrative procedures and ensuring that state administration bodies and bodies and public administration bodies act in deciding on rights, obligations and legal interests of citizens and other entities in accordance with the principles of good governance
• Improving the conditions for participation of the interested public in the work of the public administration with the increase in the availability of information on the work of public administration and public finances
The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government coordinates this reform, but is competent and undertakes concrete activities related to:
• Optimizing the number of employees
• Reform of labour relations and salary system
• Human resources management and professional development
• Reform of the administrative procedure
• Reform of the inspection service system
• Reform of the local self-government system
• Improving transparency of administration
Good governance, quality public services, professional officials and satisfied citizens and business entities are just some of the goals that the Government of the Republic of Serbia, employees in the administration and civil society work together, including citizens, citizens’ associations, academia. The Ministry in reform processes has professional and financial support from numerous bilateral and multilateral partners, of which the European Union is the largest donor.