Thursday, June 23 2022

Public administration reform strategy

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that this document is one of the five most important documents in our state, even [the second-most important] after the constitution,” said Armenian Justice Minister Karen Andreasyan.

The government has approved a draft public administration reform strategy. As a result of this reform, an increase in the efficiency of public administration is expected – due to the modernization of the work of the entire system.

The ultimate goal of this project is the formation of a progressive democratic governance system and the creation of a fourth generation state system.

“For the first time, the entire state system will be modernized”

The public administration reform strategy is a document that outlines new approaches to

  • policy development and coordination,
  • provide quality services to the citizens of the country,
  • Human Resource Management,
  • modernization of state institutions.

The government assures that for the first time after the collapse of the USSR and the declaration of independence, a document has been drawn up for the comprehensive reform of the entire state system.

The project rationale states that the adoption and implementation of a reform strategy is a priority to ensure the security and stable development of the country.

The main problems that are supposed to be solved with the new strategy are low management efficiency, insufficient institutional capacity, low quality of services provided by government agencies and imperfect public service system.

“Problems will be identified and solutions found”

According to Minister of Justice Karen Andreasyan, the strategy developed by the government aims to solve many conceptual problems:

“The problems of the whole management system were diagnosed very objectively – at all levels. With the diagnosis, all possible solutions are prescribed – in several steps”.

He pointed out that reforms had already been carried out in the field of public services in the country, which led to a partial improvement of the situation, but that serious problems remained. In particular, the current civil service system, in his view, is in particular need of institutional modernization. He says that often the system not only does not help but also interferes with work. In addition, it does not sufficiently encourage its best collaborators:

“This strategy clearly offers solutions to that – how to reward, how to encourage those who are truly deserving, how to make the public service attractive – in comparison and in competition with the private sector”.

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“There are unnecessary and missing parts in the current system”

According to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the problems were identified during a rigorous three-year study of the public administration system, which he likened to an impractical car for everyone who uses it:

“We found out (although we already knew it) that this “car” has extra parts and missing parts, that this “car” does not meet modern requirements, is inconvenient for drivers and passengers, sometimes it consumes out of gas without gaining enough speed, sometimes his brakes give out, sometimes he skids in the corners”.

The Prime Minister is confident that in the process of implementing the strategy, society will stop criticizing his government for the fact that employees of state institutions regularly receive high bonuses. According to him, to attract highly qualified specialists, it is necessary to give a decent salary:

“But for a correct remuneration not to be an unbearable burden for the State budget, this service must be of an optimal size. We keep saying that our state system is extremely overloaded, but there are links where there are not enough people to do a job”.

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“The expected result is progressive democratic governance”

The authors of the project assure that the new strategy will lead to the formation of a progressive democratic system of government.

To achieve this strategic objective, a sequence of steps has been developed:

  • create a realistic, efficient and predictable reporting system for strategic planning and policy implementation,
  • the provision of public services to citizens based on modern technological platforms,
  • the formation of a professional civil service, independent of changes in the balance of political forces, aware of public interests, as well as with a decent salary,
  • creation of effective state institutions on the principle of the “maximum ratio of price and quality” of the work performed,
  • the formation and preservation of high quality human capital in the state system,
  • formation of a technological and innovative system of public administration,
  • a resource-efficient and sustainable public administration.

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The reform will take place in three stages

The reforms are expected to be completed by 2030, systematically implementing three pre-planned steps:

  1. “Institutional and functional modernization” (2022-2024) – elimination of systemic shortcomings in all areas, formation of effective structures.
  2. The “systemic transformation” (2025-2027) in all strategic areas is a prerequisite for the formation of the fourth generation state system.
  3. “Government 4.0 and the Digital State” (2028-2030) provides for the completion of all reforms and reaching the level of the fourth generation state system.

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