Presentation by His Exxelency
Academician, Professor Efim Mikhailovich Malitikov,
Chairman of the CIS Interstate Committee for Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education,
President of the International Association “Znanie”
at the plenary session of the 7th Global Forum
on restructuring the system of public administration
Building trust in public administration
26 – 29 June 2007
Gentlemen and Ladies!
I would like to inform you about the decisions of the St. Petersburg Regional Forum. The Regional Forum on “Building Trust in Government through Leadership Capacity Building” was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 28 to 30 September 2006. It was organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) together with the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPACIS).
Key Issues and Challenges
Building critical leadership capacity in transitional countries is key to ensuring trust between government, civil society and the private sector.
Trust in government is easy to lose and difficult to regain. Nevertheless, trust in government is crucial to success in the transition economies of this region (Eastern Europe) through the creation of successful partnerships between government and other social institutions, such as the business sector and civil society.
Among the measures taken to support the transition to a market economy are the removal of restrictions, liberalization, privatization, and decentralization. The main challenge ahead is to ensure that those in key leadership positions in government, the private sector and civil society are fully aware of their own responsibility for ensuring a reasonably “smooth” transition from the former centralized model of command and control to a system based on public-private partnerships.
Ethics, Integrity and Accountability in Public Sector Leadership and Public Trust
The following issues need to be addressed to maintain ethics in public service: ethics training will reduce corruption but will not eradicate it as it relates to the issue of competence in government institutions; there is a natural “tension” between political leaders and professional officials.
Since the public sector is a nonprofit that works for the benefit of citizens, ethics and accountability should be key elements in the training of new leaders (particularly those who come from the private sector) in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
Encourage public administration leaders to mediate between different parties.
Encourage public administration leaders to act as social organizers and be aware of the work of citizens.
Strengthen government structures of the audit system, including independent auditing.
Simplify internal regulations and procedures. Increase transparency and control.
Improve service delivery through decentralized government leadership
Increase customer focus and community engagement.
Increase accountability and transparency through mechanisms such as e-government and information and communication technology.
Strengthen partnerships, as well as results-oriented partnerships between central government and local governments, and between local governments and local actors.
Develop/shape the capacity of national and local government officials related to decentralization.
Involve regional ethnic groups across national borders, and address common problems: decentralization increases access to and quality of services provided, although costs are not always reduced; also, decentralization can lead to inequalities between regions.
Support cross-border trade and economic cooperation.
Organize regional networking seminars between associations to share best practices.
Support the capacity of local leadership to think through communication and dialogue between civil society, the business sector and central government.
Support local leaders to clearly delineate responsibilities between central and local levels in the decentralization process, including areas such as health, education and urban planning.Support local leaders in pursuing decentralization with a clear objective, clear vision, and clear end results.
Strengthen public sector leadership through education and training
Training should be continuous throughout the life cycle of officials.
Training should not only focus on professionals (e.g., officials) but also on members of the academic community so that reality and theory are cross-fertilized.
The United Nations should hold events with high-level public sector executives so that they can learn about new ideas as well as the importance of ethical behavior.
The UN should develop guidelines for better training of high-level officials and politicians, and help governments define criteria for selecting government employees.
Consider the career needs of officials, evaluate their performance, and develop programs to achieve improvements.
Draft regulations or legislation focused on the stability of high-ranking individuals in public office.
Educate political leaders about the importance of public servants and the stability of public administration.
Provide a dialogue between politicians, public administration, and the private sector.
Identify existing programs in institutions and universities, and improve them.
Make the educational system more flexible and support the emergence of competition.
Create practical programs (“learning by doing”).
Increase cooperation between countries through exchange programs.
Organize an annual conference under the auspices of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) and the Association of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee) to exchange experiences on the various programs implemented in the previous year.
Create regional education and training centers, and develop regional programs.
With the help of information technology, make information on best practices more accessible to professionals.
To improve the telecommunication structure in the countries of the region.
Thank you for your attention.