Skip Navigation
Serbia

Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy (RS0013)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Serbia First Action Plan 2014-2015

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry in charge of public administration

Support Institution(s): Civil Society Organizations

Policy Areas

Audits and Controls, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Serbia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Monitoring and evaluation of the planned reform activities is essential for an on-going harmonization of the process, enabling timely response, and introducing corrective measures in case of any delays or discrepancies identified. The monitoring system used for this process is based on regular processing of data collected from regular and interim reports. The current system hasn’t been sufficiently systemic, it has been predominantly based on the ad hoc and inconsistent reporting and monitoring. It is therefore necessary to develop a complete and efficient monitoring and evaluation system for the outcome of performed activities. This principally implies the introduction of mandatory quarterly/semi-annual reports by all the actors, which would be submitted to the competent Ministry. After being processed by the competent Ministry, they are discussed by the Inter-ministerial Project group, and then at higher levels of coordination of the implementation of the PAR Strategy. With the aim of more comprehensive and objective data collection, better information on the activities of CSOs that can contribute to reforms, better flow of information to civil society about the activities of the state and monitoring of the implementation of the planned reform activities, there is a need to include CSOs in the Inter-ministerial Project group, as support for the improvement of the monitoring system.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 13. Civil society participation in monitoring the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Strategy

Commitment Text:

1.     Establishing a coordination system for monitoring the PAR Strategy

a.     Establishment of an Inter-ministerial Project group consisting of civil servants form state administration authorities and representatives of civil society organizations

b.     Training of members of Inter-ministerial Project group

c.     Regular meetings of the Inter-ministerial Project group (at least 4 times a year)

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of Public Administration

Supporting Institution(s): CSOs

Start Date: Quarter II 2015                                                            End Date: Ongoing

Commitment aim:

This commitment aimed at increasing the collaboration between civil society and government stakeholders in the context of the Public Administration Reform (PAR). Most importantly, the commitment intended to help CSOs engage in coordinating and monitoring PAR through the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Project Group composed of civil servants and civil society representatives.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

An Inter-Ministerial Project Group was established and its members were trained within the first year of the implementation cycle. The Group was established on 23 February 2015.[Note 51: “Decision on the Creation of the Inter-Ministerial Project Group for Expert Affairs in Coordinating and Monitoring the Implementation Process of the Public Administration Reform Strategy in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2015-2017,” Republic of Serbia, [Serbian] http://ogp.rs/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Resenje-o-osnivanju-RG-final.pdf. ] Training was completed and two meetings were held. For more information, see the 2014-2015 Serbian midterm IRM report.

End of term: Completed

The IRM researchers interviewed two members of the Inter-Ministerial Project Group, someone from a government institution and a civil society representative. The interviews confirmed that the group met four times within the previous year and that the meeting topics and discussions became more specific over time, indicating that the commitment was completed. However, the interviewees also added that meetings were less regular in 2016. This was due largely to the early parliamentary elections, but the group planned to return to its meeting routine since the new government formed in August 2016. 

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

Civic participation: Marginal

Public accountability: Did not change

Monitoring the complex reform of the public administration system requires the collaboration of both relevant government and civil society stakeholders. However, until the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Project Group, there was no mechanism to ensure this collaboration occurs in a systematic and effective manner. Given that the project group was established relatively recently and that the number of its meetings was limited in 2016 due to the parliamentary elections,[Note 52: Danijela Bozovic, interview with the IRM researchers, Belgrade, August 2016.] this commitment’s effect on government openness in Serbia, to date, is marginal.

More specifically, by creating an inclusive environment through the project group, the government provided civil society with access to relevant and updated information regarding the public administration reform. However, given the relatively small number of meetings, the effect of the project group has been marginal. Civic participation’s impact also is marginal, although it was enhanced through the training and collaboration of government and civil society actors in the project group. As a couple of the civil society members of the group noted in interviews, the topics covered in the group’s meetings do not leave much space for civic participation because they focus on internal administrative issues pertaining to the implementation of certain aspects of PAR.

Although the impact of this commitment is marginal at the moment, the IRM researchers believe that the Group could have a major effect on how civil society and government collaborate, how much information is shared with civil society representatives, and how effectively the PAR is monitored and evaluated in Serbia. The Group’s effect depends on whether it continues with regular meetings or expands the range of it topics. Additionally, the way CSOs monitor and report on this process could have a long-term impact on access to information and participation by making the public policy monitoring process inclusive and by monitoring information more readily available to the wider public.

Carried forward?

The commitment was completed and no similar commitments regarding the Inter-Ministerial Project Group are included in the 2016-2018 action plan.


Serbia's Commitments

  1. Develop a Model of Job Description or Part of Job Description of an Officer Responsible for Cooperation with Civil Society in Local Administration

    RS0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  2. Organise Trainings for Public Administration Officers in Connection with the Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  3. Organise Trainings for CSO in Connection with Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  4. Improve the System for Collecting Initiatives from Citizens and Businesses

    RS0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  5. Introducing Standards for Civic Participation in the Public Policy Management System

    RS0018, 2016, Capacity Building

  6. Improving Proactive Transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0019, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0020, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  8. Development of an Open Data Portal

    RS0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Draft a Bylaw Based on the Guidelines for Evaluation of Websites

    RS0022, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Improve the Institute of Public Hearing in the Drafting of Laws

    RS0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  11. Development of a Uniform Methodology for Planning, Monitoring and Performance Evaluation of Programmes and Projects Implemented by Civil Society Organisations and Monitoring the Spending of Allocated Funds

    RS0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  12. Amend the Regulation on Funds to Support Programmes or Missing Amount of Funds for Programmes of Public Interest Implemented by Associations

    RS0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  13. Enactment of a Law on Electronic Documents, Electronic Identification and Trusted Services in Electronic Business

    RS0026, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Establish a Single Public Register of Administrative Procedures and Other Conditions for Pursuing a Business Activity

    RS0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Transparency in Monitoring Budget Expenditures

    RS0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  16. Law on Financing Political Activities

    RS0002, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Transparent Public Procurement Procedures

    RS0003, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  18. Transparent Financing of Civil Society Organizations

    RS0004, 2014, Civic Space

  19. Extending and Clarifying Responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Agency

    RS0005, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  20. Whistleblower Protection Trainings and Campaigns

    RS0006, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  21. Draft Law Regulating Inspections in Public Administration

    RS0007, 2014, Audits and Controls

  22. e-Governmental Portal Awareness and Mobile Application

    RS0008, 2014, E-Government

  23. Starred commitment Public Administration Website Harmonization and Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0009, 2014, E-Government

  24. New Technologies to Improve Citizen Services

    RS0010, 2014, E-Government

  25. Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations in Public Policymaking

    RS0011, 2014, Civic Space

  26. Citizen Participation in Local Government Affairs

    RS0012, 2014, Public Participation

  27. Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy

    RS0013, 2014, Audits and Controls