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Spain: From Administrative Reform to Continuous Improvement

image of Spain: From Administrative Reform to Continuous Improvement

This comprehensive review of public governance in Spain finds that it shares with other OECD countries the need for a whole-of-government approach to reform. This is especially needed given Spain’s high degree of decentralisation and institutional fragmentation throughout the public sector. The experience of OECD countries with administrative reform is that it is successful when it is not perceived as a one-off exercise, but rather as a process of continuous improvement to constantly identify waste, shortcomings, and opportunities to do things better. This is particularly relevant for the public administration to become a positive influence for growth and overcome the effects of the financial crisis Spain has been through.

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Implementing governance reform in Spain

Challenges and opportunities

This chapter assesses the different dimensions of the CORA reform in light of OECD good governance principles and values, as well as of the lessons learnt. It explains the accountability framework in the CORA reform package, ranging from auditing and evaluation to inspection. It also assesses internal and external control and policy performance by looking at the different control bodies. The chapter describes the different efforts and challenges for a whole-of-government approach during the implementation phase in order to assess the consistency and coherence of reforms. It also discusses the factors which impact efficiency and the delicate balance between costs and quality in service delivery. Institutional leadership, Centre of Government institutions and the mobilisation of stakeholders are also evaluated. Finally, the chapter analyses sustainability in light of planning, long-term vision, flexibility to an evolving environment and the strategic use of human resources.

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