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4.3. Responsibilities of the centre of government in strategic planning

Governments are usually elected on the basis of a political manifesto with a clear agenda, which serves as the basis of the government programme that sets strategic priorities for the whole mandate. Countries usually set up a strategic planning system to ensure that individual policies are prepared, planned and implemented bearing in mind such strategic government priorities and the financial circumstances.

In the Western Balkans, CoGs are responsible for the process of strategic planning. A similar situation can be observed in OECD-EU and OECD countries, where all CoGs are involved, at least partially, in strategic planning (see section on profile of CoGs). However, CoGs can take an active role in this process by, for instance, defining priorities (e.g. following the government programme). In other cases, they take a more support role by ensuring line ministries develop strategic plans and co-ordinating their design.

In the Western Balkan region, the majority of CoGs have both types of responsibilities. For instance, in Montenegro, the CoG develops medium-term and annual government programmes, sets strategic priorities in cooperation with line ministries and reviews the quality of strategic documents by implementing the methodology of policy development, as well as drafting and monitoring such documents. Indeed, 83% of CoGs in the countries of the Western Balkan region are charged with defining whole-of-government strategic priorities, compared to 55% of OECD-EU and OECD countries. All CoGs in the Western Balkans have the responsibility of co-ordinating the design of strategic priorities, compared to 70% of OECD-EU countries and 73% of OECD countries.

In 67% of the countries in the Western Balkan region, compared to 35% of OECD-EU countries, the CoG mandates line ministries to develop the strategic plan. This shows that CoGs in the Western Balkans are strong, in the sense that they have authority over line ministries. For instance, in Montenegro, the government has adopted a decree for regulating the process of strategy and policy development (July 2018), which introduced good policy planning principles and minimum quality criteria in terms of the structure and content of strategic documents. In Albania, the CoG is responsible for the development of the National Strategy for Development and Integration which provides the national vision and direction for social and economic development over a seven-year period. Albania is in the process of developing an IT platform (IPSIS) to support its integrated policy planning system.

At the time of implementing whole-of-government national strategies, the CoG can also play an important role. All CoGs in the Western Balkans are assigned the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of national strategies. This is also the case in the majority of OECD countries. All CoGs in the Western Balkans must also ensure that individual policy proposals are linked to government priorities, compared to 80% of OECD-EU and 76% of OECD countries. The CoGs of Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as are responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of priorities. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are various administrative solutions, in the State level of BiH and the Brčko District, the CoG is responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of priorities. However, there is no such structure within the Albanian CoG, and the function is led by the cabinet of the PM directly. Among OECD-EU countries, 65% perform this task. Reallocating resources to meet goals is not done by CoGs in any of the countries in the Western Balkan region, and this is not common among OECD-EU or OECD countries.

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Methodology and definitions

The data were collected via the 2019 OECD Questionnaire for the Western Balkans on Organisation and Functions of the Centre of Government and the 2017 OECD Survey on Organisation and functions of the Centre of Government. Data for OECD refer to 33 respondent countries, and data for the OECD-EU refer to 21 countries. Respondents were senior officials who provide direct support and advice to heads of government and the council of ministers or cabinet and provided information for the year 2019.

The CoG is the body that serves the head of government and the Council of Ministers (e.g. Cabinet Office), as well as the office that specifically serves the head of government (e.g. Prime Minister’s Office). For an explanation of the difference between the definition of CoG used in this publication and other SIGMA reports, see the first two-pager.

Further reading

OECD/SIGMA (2017), Monitoring reports, OECD Publishing, Paris: http://www.sigmaweb.org/publications/monitoring-reports.htm

Figure notes

Because of the complex constitutional setup, the CoG functions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are performed by several levels of administration. For Bosnia and Herzegovina’s results are based on consolidated responses received from the State level, the two entities and Brčko District (for disaggregation see StatLinks). The CoG of the Federation of BiH and Brčko District do not mandate line departments to develop long-term strategic plans.

4.6. The CoG of Brčko District of BiH does not monitor the implementation of national strategies. The CoG of the Federation of BiH and the Brčko District are not responsible for ensuring the proposals are in line with the government programme.

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4.5. Responsibility of centre of government in design of strategies for the whole-of-government, 2019
4.5. Responsibility of centre of government in design of strategies for the whole-of-government, 2019

Source: OECD(2019) Questionnaire for the Western Balkans on Organisation and Functions of the Centre of Government; OECD (2017), OECD Survey on Organisation and functions of the Centre of Government.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934128935

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4.6. Responsibility of centre of government in the implementation of whole-of-government national strategies, 2019

Country

Monitors the implementation

Ensures that proposals are linked to government priorities

Collects reports on implementation

Co-ordinates the implementation of priorities

Reallocates resources to meet goals

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kosovo

Montenegro

North Macedonia

Serbia

Western Balkans Total

 

 

 

 

 

● Yes

6

6

6

4

0

❍ No

0

0

0

2

6

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Source: OECD(2019) Questionnaire for the Western Balkans on Organisation and Functions of the Centre of Government; OECD (2017), OECD Survey on Organisation and functions of the Centre of Government.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934128954

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