QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – A NEW TOOL FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE BULGARIAN ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM
Svetla Mihaleva, PhD1
Varna Free University ‘Chernorizets Hrabar’, Bulgaria
This paper is focused on the opportunities for transfer of innovations from the administrations of leading European countries to the Bulgarian administrative system. More particularly it is concerned with the adaptation of well known administrative activity quality management systems such as CAF, EFQM and modifications of ISO by taking into account the specific features of the administrative reform process in Bulgaria.
As a part of the reorientation towards consumers the concept for quality of the administrative activity and public services accomplished by the organizations of the state administration becomes even more important. The concept for quality service can be measured by at least two main criteria – the degree of satisfaction of requirement and needs of citizens who are the customers of public services and the data for the processes through which these services are accomplished2. The directors of the public organizations who possess a desire and a will to undertake changes for quality and results improvement in their organizations should find a balance between the measurement of processes inside the organizations and the opinion of citizens concerning the results from these processes.
The analysis of the administrative practice in Bulgaria3 shows that in the last two or three years this activity in the Bulgarian administration develops mainly in two directions. One of them is comparably more traditional and is directed towards implementation of quality management systems in regional and municipal administrations based on standards ISO 9001:2000 with the financial assistance of the EU and the methodological support of the Ministry of State Administration and Administrative Reform4. These systems are based on versatile principles and documents for quality management (quality guidebook; quality procedures; operational quality documents), on international standard ISO with an accent on mastering the in-house organization of the administrative activity and together with that – an increase of citizens’ satisfaction from the administrative service. The second direction which is not as popular as the first one but is probably more perspective is the introduction of EFQM Excellence Model and the formulated on its basis quality management system on the basis of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)5.
Organized beginning of the certification under ISO of the municipal administrations can be referred to 2006 when the Foundation for Local Government Reform (FLGR) together with Moody International organized special conference6 where around 130 municipalities became acquainted with the ISO standards. The challenges facing the municipal
1 Chief assistant Svetla Mihaleva, PhD, Varna Free University ‘Chernorizets Hrabar’, Varna, Bulgaria
2 See Getov, N. Quality Management in Public Administration (European Approaches), IPAEI, 2004.
3 The analytic research, carried out in 2008 with the author’s active involvement accomplished for the territorial (regional and municipal) administration – for ISO, and for decentralized administration – for EGFM and CAF.
4 See the project “Promotion of systems, tools and good practice for quality management in the administration” under the Operational program “Administrative capacity” and EUF of the EU.
5 See Mihaleva, S. Tools for Quality Management of the Administrative Activity. University Publishing House of VFU ‘Chernorizets Hrabar’, 2007.
6 ‘International standards and municipality management systems’, Information Newsletter of RAM (Regional Association of Municipalities “Central Stara Planina”), #4/2009