- Journal Details
- First Published
- 03 Aug 2009
- Publication timeframe
- 2 times per year
- Open Access
Page range: 9 - 19
- Open Access
Page range: 21 - 40
The article assesses how and the extent to which political or policy priorities of European governments condition reform processes and their results in times of crisis. This research is based on desk research and statistical analysis of the 2013 EUPAN survey data on public-administration reform initiatives in Europe. The article finds that the place of public-administration reforms on the governmental agenda partially explains the process of public-administration reforms, but it cannot account for the variation in the (perceived) reform results. Also, the results of this research confirm that EU-13 and (potential) candidate countries face more difficulties in reform implementation due to a combination of comprehensive reform strategies and weak administrative capacities. If the quantitative analysis was able to uncover some broad trends common to European public administrations, more qualitative approaches (causal process-tracing and case studies) are needed to capture specific contexts and changing processes in different European public administrations on which delivery progress is inevitably contingent. In order to explain why some windows of opportunities are seized while others are missed during the process of public-administration reforms, it is important to undertake process-tracing in within-case and between-case analysis and focus on causal configurations in the study of particular reform cases.
- government priorities
- public-administration reforms
- policy implementation
- Open Access
Does the Lowest Bid Price Evaluation Criterion Make for a More Efficient Public Procurement Selection Criterion? (Case of the Czech Republic)
Page range: 41 - 59
Through the institute of public procurement a considerable volume of financial resources is allocated. It is therefore in the interest of contracting entities to seek ways of how to achieve an efficient allocation of resources. Some public contract-awarding entities, along with some public-administration authorities in the Czech Republic, believe that the use of a single evaluation criterion (the lowest bid price) results in a more efficient tender for a public contract. It was found that contracting entities in the Czech Republic strongly prefer to use the lowest bid price criterion. Within the examined sample, 86.5 % of public procurements were evaluated this way. The analysis of the examined sample of public contracts proved that the choice of an evaluation criterion, even the preference of the lowest bid price criterion, does not have any obvious impact on the final cost of a public contract. The study concludes that it is inappropriate to prefer the criterion of the lowest bid price within the evaluation of public contracts that are characterised by their complexity (including public contracts for construction works and public service contracts). The findings of the Supreme Audit Office related to the inspection of public contracts indicate that when using the lowest bid price as an evaluation criterion, a public contract may indeed be tendered with the lowest bid price, but not necessarily the best offer in terms of supplied quality. It is therefore not appropriate to use the lowest bid price evaluation criterion to such an extent for the purpose of evaluating work and services. Any improvement to this situation requires a corresponding amendment to the Law on Public Contracts and mainly a radical change in the attitude of the Office for the Protection of Competition towards proposed changes, as indicated within the conclusions and recommendations proposed by this study.
- Public procurement
- criteria for evaluation of public contracts
- estimated price of a public contract
- final price of a public contract
- impact of the lowest bid price criterion on the final price of a public contract
- the lowest bid price
- principle of economy
- Open Access
Comparative Analysis of Selected Factors Affecting Heating Costs of Schools in Selected Balkan Countries
Page range: 61 - 84
The paper aims to carry out a comparative analysis of heating of school facilities under the administration of municipalities in Macedonia, Moldova and Kosovo and to test the factors that affect the heating costs of school facilities. For a definition of the theoretical fundament parts of the theory of fiscal federalism are used. Subsequently five hypotheses are put forward that are verified using the method of benchmarking. The theoretical conclusions and recommendations may be used for a more effective implementation of public policies within the surveyed countries.
- comparative analysis
- heating cost
- Open Access
Citizen Participation and Engagement in Urban Governance: Perception of Finnish and Polish Local Officials
Page range: 85 - 110
Participation has recently received renewed attention in the context of governance. This is especially relevant in countries where democratization and decentralization have led to an increased promotion of citizen involvement into the decision-making process. This article suggests that the current debate on civic engagement would benefit from further reflection on how the concept of participation is implemented in contexts, particularly in the Nordic as well as Central and Eastern European countries, where ideas of local democracy, urban governance and involvement can be understood differently. By exploring citizen participation from the perspective of local officials in two European cities – Lublin, Poland and Tampere, Finland, the article seeks to add significant data to the on-going scholarly discussion. Based on qualitative research, it examines
- local self-government
- pros and cons of citizen participation
- Open Access
Participation of the Northern Indigenous Peoples in the Management of the Russian Arctic Territories and Its Legal Protection
Page range: 111 - 133
The paper is an overview of the participation of the northern indigenous peoples in the public management of the Arctic territories in Russia. Different forms of participation are described, and most attention is paid to the co-management of the governments and the indigenous peoples when their mutual aim is protecting the Arctic and its natural landscapes in the period of extensive industrial development.
The principle objective of the paper is to analyze the international and national legal regulations and to show some effective legal mechanisms through which participation can be developed in Russia.
The authors study definitions of participation, the main international principles of participation and give a deep analysis of the legislation of the Russian Federation, which provides the framework for indigenous participation. Much attention is paid to the legislation of the federative regions of Russia which are inhabited by the northern indigenous peoples. Mostly the authors study the example of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, the Arctic area of Russia with the biggest gas reserves, inhabited by the Nenets.
The first conclusion made in the paper is that the Arctic countries must not only prioritize the exploitation of rich Arctic resources, but also be aware that the Arctic is primarily the home and the area of the traditional lifestyle and occupations of the northern indigenous peoples who have lived there for a long time. The northern indigenous peoples are interested in cooperation with the governments according to their traditional values and knowledge; they want to be involved in the decision-making process and management of their territories and resources.
The second conclusion is that a patchwork of federal laws regulating indigenous issues in Russia does not grant any special rights that let the northern indigenous peoples participate in the decision-making process concerning the lands and resources in the Arctic areas. The federal government mostly implements the concept of paternalism but not the concept of participation. The federative regions in their regulations provide considerably more opportunities for participation. However, the regions are quite restricted by the federal legislation. The regulations are fragmentary on both the federal and the regional levels, there is no system of public authorities providing for consultation, cooperation, agreements and other forms of indigenous participation. Moreover, in Russia there is very little experience in the realization of the participation of the Arctic territories and resources.
The third, and most important, conclusion is that participation in the management of the Arctic territories should become a new element of the Russian Arctic policy. From this perspective it is necessary to ratify and sign two international documents – Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – and to incorporate the basic principles of participation into the Russian federal legislation. Also it is vital to establish a specialized federal body on indigenous issues with a special focus on the northern indigenous peoples. Lastly, the legal and administrative capabilities of regions and local authorities should be increased, and the regional and local bodies should be vested with the power to involve indigenous peoples in the management of the northern territories.
- indigenous peoples
- the Arctic
- public authorities