Quality Management (QM) has been identified as another crucial thematic area of ReSPA focus and potential intervention. QM has been recognized as an important topic to be discussed within PAR network agenda, since it has been widely acknowledged as a valuable ingredient within New Public Management, developed during 1990s, enabling pattern on how to improve the quality of public services in comprehensive and systematic manner on a long run.
The overall objective of establishing this working group is to assist ReSPA’s Member States (MS) and Kosovo* in enhancing the quality of their public sector by exchanging information on Quality of Public Administrations & Services in respective countries and looking for challenges and solutions to be elaborated at regional basis. In this manner, primary aim is to build a platform which will allow countries to effectively exchange the state of play, targeted goals and priorities, examples of successful implementation and critical challenges on the issue of Quality of Public Administrations & Services.
The participants will be granted an opportunity to develop a common vision on quality in the public sector in the region, compare notes on quality practices in the different MS, share lessons learned, establish lasting working relations among individuals and institutions, and generate ideas and new instruments which would promote more effective solutions to strengthen public administration in the Western Balkans.
The QPAS working group shall gather:
- Policy makers responsible for Quality Management strategies
- Senior management representatives involved in the process of development and implementation of QPS/ Quality Management strategies;
- Quality experts in charge of designing and implementing appropriate quality instruments in the public sector / CSO / Think Thanks that closely work with the Governmental institution in designing and implementing appropriate quality instruments in the public sector
 * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and ICJ Advisory opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of independence
ReSPA has inherited the network on establishment and maintenance of Community of Practitioners on HRM issues from UNDP RC PAR, and is responsible for the overall management of this network and performance of similar activities. In addition it aims to intensify the frequency of the meetings of the CoP members (Conferences, Regional meetings, Workshops, Brainstorm sessions, Publications, etc).
The target audiences of the CoP on the HRM issues will be heads of Human Resource departments and respective officers/associates, experts and policy developers on HR issues.
The rationale for the regional network of senior e-Government practitioners is based on the role it plays in the process of developing a more efficient, effective and accountable public administration. This will serve the citizens and businesses better for less money, and will operate with transparent and open procedures. The network is focusing on: E-governance experience in EU, Future trends of e-governance, Identification of the capacity building activities related to networking and the presentations on state of the art on e-Governance in each country of the Western Balkans.
Further the regional Network for e-Government initiative supports development of the effective system of professional networking, management and knowledge share, the collaboration and cooperation at regional/national projects for introduction of e-Government system/service and their promotion based on actual requirements of the countries in the region. These activities are carried out primarily between civil servants responsible for the process of establishment of the e-Government system in the context of the public administration reform process in the Western Balkans, harmonized with the European principles and practices in this field.
The target audience of the e-Government network is heads of institutions responsible for the e-Government and/or senior officials engaged in the related professional area.
This network has been established to support the process of establishment of accountable, transparent, effective, efficient and citizen's oriented Public Administration and Good Governance. This network provides the communication platform and exchange of know-how of the most important institutions dealing with anticorruption measures in the Western Balkans. A need for a more participatory Government approach as well how the stakeholders will be most easily reached (relationship with the society)is discussed within the network. Particular topics and/or thematic areas that are addressed are as follows: Combating Corruption, Preventing Corruption, Raising Public Awareness, Regional/National and International Cooperation in the scope of anticorruption, Anti-corruption Programmes of the Western Balkan countries (best practices/common problems, etc), Policy review – consolidation of legislative framework for combat corruption, monitoring and evaluation, Improvised polices and its implementation in practice, WB Government's action against corruption, Ethics in PA and its interconnection with corruption and anti-corruption processes i.e. Managing professional ethics.
The target audiences of the Anticorruption network are senior officials of the relevant state institutions (WB) that are responsible for related issues in the process of preventing and combat corruption i.e. heads/ deputy heads of anticorruption agencies, ministries, etc. possibly also special units in MoF or police or prosecution.
The Governing Board (GB) is the highest decision-making body of ReSPA. The responsibilities of the GB include the provision of general policy guidelines for ReSPA and the adoption of ReSPA’s annual business plan, including its Programme of Work and budget. It is composed of representatives of each member of ReSPA, who come from ministries or equivalent authorities responsible for public administration, human resources development or European integration. This network is a closed group for online communication between the governing board members of ReSPA at the Senior and Ministerial Level.
The EU Integration network i.e. the network established at the regional level dedicated to European Integration, is a platform that brings together the most important and most relevant stakeholders of the Western Balkan countries dealing with various aspects of the EU integrations. It is strongly believed that the mutual exchange of practices and experiences, problems and solutions achieved through this network may facilitate and support efforts made at the national level towards the ultimate goal of these countries joining the EU and being reliable EU Members. Visible and practical regional co-operation can also lead to further positive views among EU Member States. The EUI network has identified and is focusing on: commons issues for the EU integration process, best practices, transfer of data/documents/skills and networks, legal and political issues of the EU integration process, IPA funds (lack of knowledge in project preparation, lack of staff, lack of competent staff to prepare/implement and monitor the project), etc. Other very important topics related to EU integration supported by the network are Public Administration decentralization and regional co-operation.
The network for European Integration could acts as a catalyst for other regional groups and it is foreseen to have different subgroups (sub-networks) such as sub network for management of funds, the preparation for 2020, the legislative acquis, Communication with EU and on EU, The European Commission, e.g. IPA issues, financial framework, other IPA related issues, etc.
The target audience - This network shall engage senior officials from all ReSPA member countries involved in the institutions responsible for the European Integration process.
The European Union Integration (EUI) Programme Committee is ReSPA subsidiary advisory board. It takes a more strategic approach towards the EUI programming at the regional level for all ReSPA Members. The EUI Programme Committee advises ReSPA (Secretariat, Governing Board) in designing future programs pertinent to the EUI affairs, ensures that they address the pressing issues for ReSPA Members and complement the overall ReSPA goals, as well as other international efforts, in the area of Public Administration Reform (PAR) and EUI.
The EU Programme Committee contributes to ReSPA’s ongoing development of its programming portfolio, and raising its profile. It also supports ReSPA in strengthening its EUI network and facilitates peer to peer exchange of opinions and information on issues related to the EUI.
Reform of (general) administrative procedures and administrative justice has been a common issue in the Western Balkan for a while, within the good governance and good government context required to follow the principles of European Administrative Space, EU and Council of Europe guidelines. All the countries on the territory of the former Yugoslavia took over the Yugoslav General Administrative Procedures Act (GAPA), in the beginning of the 1990s, with Albania adopting its own Code (1999). However, during the 2000s, almost all countries amended their general administrative procedural laws or / and started to prepare the new ones and other closely interrelated measures (namely new LGAP in Croatia passed in 2009 and in Serbia in 2013, followed presumably by Montenegro in 2014 and in between introducing several novelties of present valid laws in FYR Macedonia, etc.).
Therefore, administrative procedural law should not be underestimated as a part of the overall functioning and modernization of public administration since it represents a key tool for public governance to, both: 1) efficiently implement public policies and 2) simultaneously implies the exercise of international and constitutional safeguards (such as the rule of law, equality, legitimate expectations, effective legal remedy, access to court, etc.), of primary interest by “doing business” actors in the common and globalized market.
General administrative procedure is one of the most important formally regulated work processes in public administration.
The Public Administration Reform (PAR) Network creates a particular forum for exchange of knowledge and experience among the ReSPA members in the area of PAR. Within the broad framework of European Integration and Public Administration Reform processes a number of specific ongoing activities deserve important additional attention. The interconnections of PAR and EU integration processes require enlightening in the activities related to: methodologies for development of PAR Strategies; implementation of Dimension “Effective Public Services“ of SEE 2020 Strategy and development and implementation of specific National and Regional Action Plans. Closely connected with these activities is an issue related to the new sector wide approach in programming of IPA II support in Democracy and Governance sector. The PAR network will provide support in implementation of the above stated activities.
The target audience of the PAR network are senior managers for PAR and two additional middle management representatives involved in the various specific segments of the process of development and implementation of PAR strategies.
Public procurement has been repeatedly recognised in European Commission Progress Reports as an issue of concern across the Western Balkans countries. Reform is needed in this area to deal with a number of issues, including: incomplete legislation, low transparency, corruption, coordination and overlapping of responsibilities, insufficient administrative capacities. To help its members establish sound and efficient public procurement systems, except for organising numerous trainings as a part of its regular activities, ReSPA has established the Public Procurement Network. This network, which gathers public procurement decision makers and senior experts in the field, is a regional platform which promotes exchange of experience and good practice, and enhancement of knowledge, aiming primarily to enhance understanding of roles and responsibilities of the actors involved in public procurement, and functioning of the system on both strategic and operational level. Besides helping the WB countries address the issues mentioned in EC Progress Reports, the aim of the network is also to help and ensure implementation of objectives set in South East Europe 2020 Strategy, which primarily concern: regional integration of local procurement markets, creating competitive economic environment, and competitive standardised public procurement, but also to improve trust in public institutions through helping create a system which more transparent and economically efficient public spending, contributing ultimately to the building of a culture of integrity.
ReSPA introduced the Public Private Partnership (PPP) workshops in 2011 and subsequent in 2012. Furthermore, following these two successful PPP trainings, ReSPA has organized, jointly with the PPP Agency from Croatia, a follow-up training and visit to PPP projects successfully implemented in Croatia. Based on the need for education and training concerning the public-private partnership in SEE Region ReSPA has set up the network of key players, promoting cooperation, breaking down barriers for the potential cross border projects and encouraging transnational learning. By exchanging the information, best practices and training resources on PPP, ReSPA will further strengthen its role in disseminating the knowledge in the region. By establishing the network of PPP experts, ReSPA is creating and facilitating the platform bringing together trainers and PPP practitioners which, in long run, can improve the existing learning methods and develop more innovative methodology to improve the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of the actors involved. The training programme which are developed take learning to a higher level among broad range of participants.