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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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The context of state development in Spain

This chapter describes the context of state development in Spain, its rapid transformation and the consolidation of the current state of public administration and governance. It analyses the composition of the public sector in the context of the decentralisation process, assessing its impact on public employment and state revenues and expenditures. Furthermore, it describes the state’s functions and its increasing role in the welfare system, addressing the different demographic trends which have influenced it and the implications for public spending. In addition, the chapter provides a complete picture of Spain’s current governance structure and public administration, its reform capacity, its institutional challenges and the impact of the recent economic crisis. The chapter summarizes the wide range of governance reforms currently in phase of implementation.

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