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a technical matter. Provided that there are financial resources, on the basis of the already established according to ISO documentation, the implementation of electronic management systems becomes twice easier referring to the amount of work and time.

However, the analysis of the initial implementation of quality management systems based on ISO in some regional and municipal administrations shows that together with the indisputable advantage, such as mastering the administrative processes and the document flow, these systems are too much labor consuming and do not take into consideration all the characteristic features of the Bulgarian public sector and the specifics of the particular municipal administration (education and qualification level of the authorities and the office workers, the degree of  formality of the administrative techniques and procedures, the quality of the feedback from citizens, etc.) because its conceptual orientation towards business organizations. As a result their implementation becomes slower and harder to achieve, serious additional efforts are needed by the staff without any guaranties for reaching the desired quality excellence in the administrative sphere.

Another direction (which is probably more perspective for our present conditions) is the introduction of the developed by the European Institute in Public Administration system ‘Common Assessment Framework’ – CAF8. It is successfully used by the administrations of many EU Member States – Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Finland, Portugal, as well as by the administrations of the newly accepted Member States – The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, etc.

In its conception the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is an assessment and self-assessment tool of organizations from the public sector. It was developed under the aegis of EU General Directorate ‘Public Administration’ aiming at supporting the introduction of the idea and principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) in the public sector both within the EU and outside it.

CAF is based on the concept of EFQM Model and it is a result of co-operation among the EU Ministers responsible for Public Administration.

European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) has worked out and possesses the EFQM Excellence Model. EFQM is a non-profit membership foundation founded in 1988 by leading European companies for implementing strategies to achieve higher performance. Today EFQM’s network encompasses well over 800 organizations from all over Europe from different businesses including Public Administration.

One of the significant practical benefits of applying the EFQM Excellence Model is the chance to build up practically applicable quality management system on its basis and on the basis of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

CAF is a tool for Total Quality Management inspired by the Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and the Model of the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer, Germany. It is based on the prerequisite that higher performance results of organizations, citizens/users, people and society are achieved by leadership management of strategies and plans, people, partnerships, resources and processes.  Pilot version of the CAF was presented in May 2000 and a first revised version was launched in 2002. A CAF Resource Centre was established at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht following the decision of the Directors General in charge of public service. In a strategic declaration EIPA announced its desire to play the

8 Common Assessment framework (CAF). Improving the performance of an organization by the use of self-assessment. CAF 2006. CAF Resource Centre, European Institute in Public Administration, The Netherlands, http://www.eipa.eu, http://www.mdaar.government.bg; Quality management in the European Public Administrations. CAF - Common Assessment Framework, Patrick Staes, CAF Resource Centre, European Institute in Public Administration, The Netherlands

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