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Lithuania

Public Services by NGOs (LT0027)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Lithuania Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Social Security and Labour

Support Institution(s): Ministry of the Interior, NGOs

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Civic Space, Freedom of Association, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Lithuania Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

4. Develop a model for transferring public services to NGOs and communities and encouraging its implementation.
1 December 2018 – 31 December 2019
Lead implementing agency Ministry of Social Security and Labour
Commitment description
Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment According to the current public service delivery model, practically all public services are provided by state or municipal institutions or bodies. This is often not what the users want as they are often inefficient and uneconomical, and the users are often devoid of the possibility to impact the quality of services provided. Such a public service model does not contribute to the promotion of civic awareness and the strengthening of communities, i.e. citizens are not involved in decision-making as regards services and their better quality, despite the fact that these decisions have a significant impact on the quality of their own life and the environment.
Currently, only a small number of municipalities have transferred to NGOs and communities a small proportion of public services, although the National Progress Programme provides for 15 per cent share of services to be transferred by municipalities to NGOs and communities by 2020.
Problem solution/Commitment Develop a model for transferring public services to NGOs and communities and encourage its implementation.
Main objective Encouraging the transfer of public services to NGOs and communities with a view to increasing the transfer of public services to 5-10 per cent share.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the problem? The model for transferring public services will ensure greater public engagement in decision-making processes, encourage NGOs and communities to play a more active role in addressing problems relevant to their immediate environment, and help public authorities to properly prepare and ensure a smooth transfer of public services and increase the efficiency of public service delivery.
Action and its description Expected concrete result Start date: End date:
1. Identification of problematic areas and analysis of best practices Compilation and analysis of information on problems encountered in transferring public services to NGOs and communities and summary of best practices in this field 01/12/2018 01/03/2019
2. Development of a model and recommendations for state and municipal institutions Methodological document, 1 pcs. 01/03/2019 31/08/2019
3. Training for representatives of state and municipal institutions, NGOs and communities Training, 5 pcs. 01/09/2019 31/10/2019
4. Evaluation of completed actions, monitoring of indicators Analysis completed, 1 pcs 01/11/2019 31/12/2019
How is the commitment relevant to the values of transparency, accountability and civic participation? The commitment is relevant to the value of public participation, as the mechanism developed will encourage people to get closer involved in decision making regarding problems faced in their environment.
Additional information The commitment is part of the Plan for the implementation of the Programme of the 17th Government.
Contact information
Lead implementing agency Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania
Name, title, department, email and telephone number of the responsible person , Aurelija Olendraitė,
Chief Adviser for NGOs and Communities,
email: aurelija.olendraite@socmin.lt,
tel.: 8 70668 248
Other ministries, departments/agencies involved Ministry of the Interior
What civil society organisations, private sector representatives or other stakeholders are you planning to involve in the implementation of the commitment? Do you plan to conduct a public consultation during the implementation of the commitment? The commitment involves NGOs, the NGO Council and other stakeholders (Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania).

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Develop a model for transferring public services to NGOs and communities and encouraging its implementation

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

According to the current public service delivery model, practically all public services are provided by state or municipal institutions or bodies. This is often not what the users want as they are often inefficient and uneconomical, and the users are often devoid of the possibility to impact the quality of services provided. Such a public service model does not contribute to the promotion of civic awareness and the strengthening of communities, i.e. citizens are not involved in decision-making as regards services and their better quality, despite the fact that these decisions have a significant impact on the quality of their own life and the environment. Currently, only a small number of municipalities have transferred to NGOs and communities a small proportion of public services, although the National Progress Programme provides for 15 per cent share of services to be transferred by municipalities to NGOs and communities by 2020. [22]

Milestones:  

4.1. Compilation and analysis of information on problems encountered in transferring public services to NGOs and communities and summary of best practices in this field

4.2. Development of a model and recommendations for state and municipal institutions

4.3. Training for representatives of state and municipal institutions, NGOs and communities

4.4. Evaluation of completed actions, monitoring of indicators

Start Date: 30 June 2018

End Date: 15 June 2020

Context and Objectives

Ten percent of Lithuanian citizens express dissatisfaction with public services, emphasizing poor quality and long waiting times. [23] Also, it is common for citizens to doubt if they could get high-quality services without paying bribes or using other unofficial methods to expedite procedures. Twenty-one percent of public officials say that it is common to use their network of acquaintances to get better public services. [24] Also, 46 percent of citizens admitted to using connections to ensure they got a better quality of public services. [25]

The Ministry of Social Security and Labor has noticed that citizens are disappointed with public services, which, the ministry notes, are often inefficient and uneconomical. [26] To solve this issue, the ministry aims to change the current model by letting nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and communities—rather than public-sector institutions—provide 5–10 percent of services to residents. This goal is also set in the National Progress Program. [27]

It is laudable that the ministry is willing to pilot a model to improve services. However, this commitment’s potential impact is minor. It is not clear how the model itself could make the shift. It is also not evident how getting services from NGOs and communities would actually solve the problem of low-quality, inefficient services, especially when the NGO sector in Lithuania is not strong and lacks capacity and skills (as noted in the second commitment). Some working group members raised those same concerns. They doubted whether NGOs were the ones to ensure a higher quality of public services. [28]

This commitment assumes that the possibility to provide public service would somehow encourage citizens to participate in public matters, especially in the regions. However, there is no information suggesting that people or NGOs would become more active because of this. According to the latest survey, carried out by Vilmorus, a center for public opinion and market research, 50 percent of Lithuanian residents have not participated in voluntarily activities and are not planning to do so in the near future. [29]

Next steps

While this commitment raised a relevant issue about the quality of public services, the proposed solutions are questionable. Citizens are mostly dissatisfied about the fact they have to pay a bribe or know an insider to get high-quality service. “High quality” includes polite communication with a service provider and proportionate waiting times. The IRM researcher recommends considering anti-corruption measures that the Ministry of Social Security and Labor can use to solve the issue. Also, specific measures to decrease waiting times might be a solution worth focusing on to increase the quality of public services.

[22] Full commitment text available at https://bit.ly/2HPWuXo. [23] Aiste Dirzyte and Aleksandras Patapas, The Satisfaction of Public Services (Public Policy and Administration, Mykolas Romeris University), https://bit.ly/2JwhUcc. [24] “Lithuanian Map of Corruption,” Special Investigative Service, 2018, https://www.stt.lt/lt/naujienos/?cat=1&nid=2961. [25] Ibid.  [26] The description of the problem is in the fourth action plan: https://bit.ly/2HPWuXo. [27] “National Progress Programme 2014-2020, No. 1482,” Republic of Lithuania, https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/TAIS.439028. [28] Practical session led by IRM researcher, 26 March 2019. [29] “Public Trust in NGOs,” representative survey, 2018, https://bit.ly/2YBy6ha.

Commitments

  1. Open Data

    LT0024, 2018, E-Government

  2. NGO Database, NGO Fund

    LT0025, 2018, Civic Space

  3. Publish Fiscal Information

    LT0026, 2018, E-Government

  4. Public Services by NGOs

    LT0027, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Monitoring and Evlauation for Public Participation

    LT0028, 2018, Public Participation

  6. Legislative Process Evaluation

    LT0029, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Build Open Data Portal, and Integrate Into the European Single Digital Market.

    LT0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  8. Publicize Information About Government Activities and Civic Participation in Governance.

    LT0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Publish Online Information About Revenues and Spending of National and Municipal Institutions

    LT0017, 2016, E-Government

  10. Create and Broadcast Social Advertisements That Target Corruption in the Healthcare System

    LT0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Create Legal, Organizational and Technical Tools to Easily Access Detailed Information About Election and Voting Procedures

    LT0019, 2016, E-Government

  12. Create Public Consultation Mechanism

    LT0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  13. Foster Open Public Governance Culture in Public Sector

    LT0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Creation of NGO Database.

    LT0022, 2016, Civic Space

  15. Creation of NGO Fund.

    LT0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Public Service Quality Improvements

    LT0007, 2014, Capacity Building

  17. Developing and Promoting E-Services

    LT0008, 2014, E-Government

  18. Encouraging Public Participation

    LT0009, 2014, E-Government

  19. Raising Civic Awareness

    LT0010, 2014, Education

  20. National Civil Society Fund Model Development

    LT0011, 2014, Civic Space

  21. Accessibility of Public Information

    LT0012, 2014, E-Government

  22. Public Decision-Making Transparency

    LT0013, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. Promoting Anti-Corruption Education

    LT0014, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  24. Increase of the Accessibility of the Information Held by Public Administration Authorities.

    LT0001, 2012, Records Management

  25. Centralised Publishing of Information on Government Activities

    LT0002, 2012, Records Management

  26. More Extensive Public Consultations

    LT0003, 2012, Public Participation

  27. Promotion of Public Participation in Public Administration Processes

    LT0004, 2012, Legislature

  28. Increasing the Accessibility of Services Provided to the Public.

    LT0005, 2012, E-Government

  29. Promotion of Public Participation in the Process for the Improvement of Service Provision

    LT0006, 2012, Public Participation

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