SIGMA Papers

SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) is a joint initiative of the OECD and the EU, principally financed by the EU. SIGMA Papers is a series of specialised reports that are focused on particular issues in governance and management, such as expenditure control, administrative oversight, interministerial co-ordination, public procurement and public service management.

Available in French (see link below) and other languages.

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Promoting Performance and Professionalism in the Public Service

This is a report on human resources management practices in the public administrations of four central and eastern European countries: Albania, Estonia, Hungary and Poland. The report is based on information from 1996. Since then significant changes have occurred in at least two of the countries. In Poland a new Civil Service Act came into force in January 1997 (certain provisions came into force 30 days after the Act’s promulgation); and in Albania the current situation in the administration is difficult to assess due to recent political upheaval. When this report was prepared in 1996, Albania, Estonia and Hungary all had civil service laws in force, while in Poland the1982 Act on Civil Servants still regulated employment in the state administration. The report’s purpose is to determine to what extent the implementation of a specific law for employment in the administration would lead to significant changes in personnel management or in the preconditions for management, selection and promotion of staff. This report is therefore about public personnel management systems, management procedures and management practices and how they either support or hinder professionalism and appropriate conduct. To a certain extent it is also about the legislation and institutions as well as the training necessary to promote suitable civil service behaviour. The study was based on a common guideline document developed together with experts from the four countries. These experts are Odeta Dibra, Lawyer, Albania (now with UNESCO); Professor Georg Sootla, Tallinn Pedagogical University, Estonia; Istvan Borbiro, Lawyer, Jutasi & Partners, Hungary; and Wojciech Marchlewski, Co-operation and Partnership, Poland. The four experts used the guideline document as a reference tool for conducting interviews in the administrations of their countries and for reporting their findings.

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