Quality Management in Public Administration Indicates the Governments’ Commitment to Ultimately Improve User Satisfaction
Today’s Conference “Good Governance Foundation for Quality Management in Public Administration”, co-organized by ReSPA, SIGMA/OECD and the Ministry of State for Standards of Services of Albania and under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Albania, showcased the importance of the improvement of public administration and public services through introducing instruments for Quality Management (QM). Those instruments (models, tools and standards) are perceived as one of the key prerequisites for the sustainability of public administration reforms, modernization and better performance of public administration but also indicate the governments’ commitment to ultimately improve user satisfaction.
The Conference gathered Mr Arben Ahmetaj, Deputy Prime Minister of Albania, Ms Milva Ekonomi, Minister of State for Standards of Services, Mr Hubert Perr, Head of EU Delegation to Albania, Ms Maja Handjiska-Trendafilova Director of Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), Nick Thijs, Senior Advisor at SIGMA and more than 120 civil servants from the Western Balkans public administrations dealing with Quality Management. It aimed to present the importance of quality management, to learn and be inspired by practices in the region and the EU and to discuss future opportunities and a concrete way forward in disseminating quality management in the Albanian Public Administration.
Mr Arben Ahmetaj, Deputy Prime Minister of Albania opening the Conference, informed participants that the Albanian government undertook the digital revolution and from May 1, the physical counters were finally closed, as almost all public services are offered online, through the e-Albania platform.
“Although it has been a long road, e-Albania, from the 14 online services it once offered, today enables 1225 public services or 95% of them, with a total of 2.5 million registered citizens and businesses.
97.5% of Albanian citizens who interacted with public authorities via the Internet were satisfied with the services provided, which proves the efficiency of this digital transformation” said Mr Ahmetaj and underscored that “the administrative approach with the citizen at the centre is essential for EU countries and Albania is guided by the same approach, by the same culture when it comes to strengthening public institutions to what they offer to the citizen.” said Mr Ahmetaj.
Ms Milva Ekonomi, Minister of State for Standards of Services highlighted the importance of the public administration for the Albanian government, as one of the important actors in the realization of all reform processes that have been undertaken over the years and the involvement of citizens in these processes where the clear objective has been and remains the continuous modernization of the public administration, to build open, efficient and comprehensive public institutions for Albanian citizens.
Ms Ekonomi pointed out that according to the SIGMA report in 2021 “Albania has performed at a high level compared to its neighbours in the Western Balkans region, registering values higher than the regional average for the six key areas of Good Governance and Public Administration. These data were also reflected in the progress report that the European Commission drew up for Albania in October of last year. The area related to service delivery improved the most, in all country administrations and all dimensions.”
Mr Hubert Perr, Head of EU Delegation to Albania highlighted that PAR is taking the central place in the EU Enlargement process of the Western Balkans and it is an engine that delivers all policies and priorities into practice. “The European Union doesn’t provide any special model for public administration, there is no blueprint for countries but they need to find their optimal way in progressing with reforms. In that process, Quality Management should take a central stage, and here some prioritization must be done every day so public institutions deliver more and better. In order to perform better, one of the mechanisms is to bring civil servants together and that kind of event is today’s Conference. ReSPA and SIGMA are presenting great synergy here and they have jointly supported the Western Balkan region in progressing with the Public Administration Reform for years now, and I believe this partnering will continue with the assistance of the European Union, in favour of civil servants from the region.”
Ms Maja-Handjiska Trendafilova, ReSPA Director expressed her encouragement by the political commitment seen at today’s Conference and readiness for the improvement of public administration and public services through introducing instruments for Quality Management. ReSPA is committed to providing regional expertise in Quality Management through Regional Quality Management Centre (RQMC) which has been proven as a CAF accelerator in the Western Balkans for years now. “I invite the public administration institutions in Albania to harness ReSPA support instruments in the area of QM and by implementing it to improve their organizational performance which influences improved services for the citizens,” said Director Handjiska.
The Conference was enriched with the presentation of Mr Nick Thijs, Senior Advisor at SIGMA and Mr Thomas Prorok, KDZ Director. Mr Thijs gave a broader reflection on the importance of using Quality Management, while Mr Prorok went through 10 key lessons learned in implementing CAF. Some of them are: Be aware of a change, Ensure leadership commitment, Focus on improvements, Use Digitalization carefully and More Competence and Mentoring where ReSPA is taking a leading role in mentoring CAF across the Western Balkans public administration institutions.
The presentations were additionally supported by showcasing of good practices of CAF implementation presented by Ms Ksenja Hauptman, Quality manager at the Ministry of Education (Slovenia) and Mr Pavel Ivanov, Executive Director, Institute of Public Administration (Bulgaria).
Finally, two exceptional Panels brought forward the experiences of CAF implementation in different public administrations in the Western Balkans, and the strategic approach to QM as the main direction of Good Governance and Public Administration Road Map 2030 for Albania, as delivered by the key institutions spearheading public administration reform in Albania.
Mr Kenan Avdagić, Expert Advisor for Reforms, PARCO (BiH), Ms Samra Ljuca, Assistant Director, Civil Service Agency BiH (BiH), Ms Amina Shkrijelj, Head of the Department for EU integration and international cooperation, MISA (North-Macedonia), Ms Marija Janković, Senior Officer, Ministry of Public Administration (Montenegro) and Mr Dalibor Ćopić, Head of Department for Training, Improvement of Service Delivery in Administration and Analytical Affairs, Civil Service Agency of the Republic of Srpska (BiH), guided by moderators Ms Olivera Damjanović, ReSPA Programme Manager and Ms Tihana Puzić, SIGMA/OECD and ReSPA Expert discussed their experiences in implementing CAF within their respective institutions and public administrations.
The main Albanian actors in PAR Ms Oriana Arapi, General Director of Good Governance Unit/PMO, Ms Albana Kociu, General Director of DoPA, Ms Mirlinda Karcanaj, General Director of AKSHI/NAIS, Ms Eridana Çano, General Director of Co-Governance Agency and Ms Enkela Dudushi, Acting General Director of ASPA guided by Nick Thijs, debated on the strategic approach on Quality Management as main direction of Good Governance and Public Administration Road Map 2030 for Albania.