Draft public administration strategy presented to committee

Public Administration Minister Arsen Bauk has said that the matter of efficient public administration should not be a field for political one-upmanship and in order to enhance the administration system the government has proposed a 2015-2020 Public Administration Strategy.

Bauk on Tuesday acquainted the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution with the proposed three-section strategy focusing on public services, strengthening human resources and rationalisation of public administration.

Offering public services and processes in the public administration are the most important part, and the implementation of the pertaining section of the strategy will cost 94 million kuna, which will be provided from the budgets of local self-government units and from EU funds, according to Bauk.

Commenting on the personnel and public administration employees, Bauk said that many surveys and analyses had shown that Croatia did not deviate from the EU average in terms of civil servants.

The figures are neither too large nor too small, however, structure and their arrangement in some segments of public administration have differences which should be reduced, Bauk said.

According to the draft strategy, there were 56,220 employees in the state services plus 151,158 workers in public services.

The draft also points to the need to reconsider and define a new system for salary brackets.

The document also envisages an analysis of Croatia’s territorial organisation but it does not offer a final answer.

This is possibly the biggest advantage and the biggest shortcoming of the strategy, Bauk said.

The strategy is to be implemented through three terms of government, and it also defines three mechanisms for monitoring its implementation.

The first mechanism envisages direct monitoring in the office of Prime Minister, the second refers to executive and political part, and third mechanism envisages submitting reports to the parliament, Bauk said.

Labour Party MP Dragutin Lesar said during the discussion that the implementation of the strategy required money and operative planning.

Milorad Pupovac of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) criticised deputies of the strongest Opposition party — the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) — for having boycotted today’s discussion in the committee. He wondered why “those who are inclined to take the leadership of the country in the coming period are boycotting this discussion”.

An external member of the committee, Dragan Zelic, commended the Strategy as a quality document.

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