In principal, every organisational unit in the Austrian federal administration is free to choose its own QM-instrument. However, the Federal Chancellery recommends and promotes the use of the CAF and supports it by information, training and consulting via the KDZ-Austrian Centre for Public Administration Research.
In Belgian public administration we have a combination of centralised and decentralised and top down and bottom up approaches.
The centralised approach is used in the activities of the Ministry for public administration to translate the CAF, organise the Belgian quality conference, develop methodology of tools, give training, simplification of the administration, e-governement.
The decentralised approach is used for the regional, local administration. Each region (Walloon, Flemisch), local administration (Walloon, Flemisch) organise his own quality conference. The Walloon conference is jointly organise with the private sector.
We have a step by step approach. We adjust constantly our strategy to the reality of the organisation.
We take into account the competence of the personnel, the cultural and the correction we have to make to adapt the methodology.
There are some requirements and standards set at central level and the Ministry of State Administration and Administrative Reform (MSAAR) performs monitoring and control oven their implementation. Additional, specific standards could be set by each administration according to its activities and services and published in the Client Charter (which is obligatory).
The MSAAR has 2 internet based systems for getting information about the development of the administrations and the quality of the services. On the basis of analysis of the results in intervenes in cases when general problems are observed.
All administrations have possibility to apply their own policy in the area of Quality in addition to the central one. In cases they need support they could ask the Ministry to provide them with expert or other help.
All administrations are encouraged to implement measures for continuous improvement of the quality.
Activities in the area of quality are characterized with the combination of "top down" and "bottom up" approaches.
The top down approach is being used in particular in activities of the Ministry of Interior (formerly the Government Office of the Czech Republic which is responsible for PA development.
The bottom up approach represents activities of some PA authorities in implementation of various quality tools from their own initiative.
The modernisation programme in Denmark is based on a number of recommendations from the central government to the public institutions. This is in some way a top down/centralised approach. The public institutions, however, are free to decide whether or not they want to follow the recommendations. This on the other hand implies a decentralized/bottom up approach.
In developing quality tools and models the Danish central government puts great emphasis in involving leaders and employees at the public institutions.
QM is promoted from top down and centralised from Ministry of Finance and the Association of Local and Regional authorities, but it is really up to the organisations themselves to choose whether and how they approach QM.
For the State administrations, there is a combination of top down and bottom up approaches.
On the one hand, quality enhancement policy is defined at the top level, and nation-wide projects or programs are steered at the top level. They can be projects from a specific ministerial department (e.g. tax department), but also interministerial programs, that are managed by an interministerial unit like the Directorate general for State modernisation, with the participation of ministerial departments. For example, the “Marianne label” criteria were elaborated centrally, and are currently implemented locally, under the monitoring and with the help of the Directorate general for State modernisation.
Within the national framework, each ministry elaborates its own quality policy, with specific commitments on quality levels and dedicated indicators.
On the other hand, local State administrations can carry out other quality improvement projects of their own initiative. Benchlearning on best practices is made possible through the national quality award (“Les Trophées de la qualité”) or conferences in various sectors at local and national level.
Local governments are free to elaborate their own policies, according to the French constitution. However, they can join most of the national programs, when this is applicable. For example, many city halls are currently implementing the Marianne Charter.
In Greece QM approach combines centralized, decentralized, as well as a top down and bottom up approaches. The Directorate of Quality and Efficiency of the General Secretariat of Public Administration and E-Government of the Ministry of Interior, is responsible for promoting quality policies in public administration at central level. The Directorate of Quality and Efficiency sets the legal framework on QM, determines the general strategic, produces guidelines and supporting documents on Quality, organizes training programs and provides counseling. Moreover, on the basis of the results from implementations of Quality Management tools (mainly CAF) by public organizations, proposes general improvement measures for the public administration.
Every public organization, at any government level, can decide independently if it will implement a quality policy, the extent of its use and the quality tool used (although the use of CAF is strongly advised). In addition, it can ask for advice from the Directorate, can submit its report for evaluation and comments, although it is not obliged by law to so, and can cooperate with the Directorate during the implementation of its improvement measures.
The “top down” and the “bottom up” approaches in the area of quality management in Hungary are predominated simultaneously.
The top down approach reflects the role of the central basically. The Prime Minister’s Office conducts the methodological supervising of the area. The Prime Minister’s Office issues the vocational recommendations and supports the local activities of public administration agencies with indirect incentive system (e.g. providing consultations, awarding the Hungarian Public Administration Award, sharing good practices on international conferences, good practices handbook, etc.).
According to the “bottom up” approach, public administration agencies can decide on the methods of their own quality improvements independently. Several organizations apply the ISO and CAF systems; customer satisfaction testing is widespread both in state administration and local administration. There are many local initiatives in public administration, which provide unique, good solutions to the local challenges.
In this system, the quality management culture of Hungarian public administration intensify gradually but on a stable basis.
The ‘top down’ approach is being used in particular through the activities of the Spanish Agency for the Evaluation of Public Policies and Quality of Services. The Agency’s functions operate at three levels:
Performance of evaluations of certain public services, of the activities of government agencies and certifications, based on quality, excellence and best practices; and
Creation of a space for citizen information and involvement, with regular reports on the quality of provision of public services being disseminated to the citizens and public managers.
The “bottom up” approach is related to the activities for the implementation of quality programs and quality management systems into individual bodies/organizations of public administration. The most common programs used by these units are complaint and suggestion handling, citizen’s charters and self-assessment with EFQM model. The more managerial and organizational knowledge is present the more are used these programs. Depending on the activity sector or the level of administration the introduction of systems of quality management according to ISO 9000 standards is more relevant.
As a general rule, programmes and quality systems are introduced according to the step by step method, trying to encompass their implementation to the size and maturity level of public organisations as well as citizens and users expectations and needs.
The QCS Initiative originally focused on the Civil Service (central Government Departments and Offices). However, it is the responsibility of parent Departments to implement it in the wider Public Service (i.e. State Bodies and Agencies). Since 2005, a particular effort has been made to introduce the Customer Charter Initiative to Non-Commercial State Bodies.
It should also be noted that individual Public Service organisations are encouraged to implement their own customer service improvements / initiatives as required, and have a significant amount of discretion in doing this (with central government encouragement).
The quality approach is rather decentralized and depends on ministries. Some of them (i.e. Finance, Justice) develop projects for depending institutions. The Chancellery of the Prime Minister is developing program for popularization of QM approach among central government institutions. This year the Chancellery will carry out a comprehensive survey on QM in governmental administration that is aimed to serve as a basic tool for devising an overall quality policy and strategy.
Especially after joining the EU, Poland has been actively participating in various European initiatives related to QM in PA such as quality conferences, CAF activities, works on customer satisfaction management, etc. This European context of QM is taken into account by Polish central-level institutions while working out/planning QM policy.
In the case of tax administration (subject to Ministry of Finance) a centralized approach has been applied – the uniform system will be elaborated and implemented in all tax offices.
In the other branches of governmental administration there is a number of initiatives and quality projects but the participation of offices is on the voluntary basis. For example, there is a number of bottom-up quality development local initiatives, dedicated to good practices exchange.
Activities in the area of quality excellence in Romanian public administration are characterized by both of ’top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches.
In respect to top down approach, the Romanian Government adopted a memorandum regarding “Necessary measures for improving quality of public services” http://www.sgg.ro/docs/File/SGG/memo.pdf (available in Romanian language)
Different strategic documents were adopted by the Government (National reform program 2007-2010) for achieving Lisbon Strategy Goals.
Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform together with General Secretariat of the Government share the responsibility of simplifying the administrative procedures and costs for both citizens and business environment..
The ‘bottom up’ approach reveals activities in the introduction of systems that will bring quality into individual institutions/organizations of public administration (more information about CAF are provided in the section “excellence model”)
The Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing (SOSMT) is the coordinator of the state quality policy in the Slovak Republic. The main strategic quality policy document is the National Quality Programme of the Slovak Republic for years of 2004-2008 with specific objectives and activities. The new programme will be launched at the end of 2008 for years of 2009 – 2013.
Some of central administration bodies have their own activities in quality management area on different levels. All central administration bodies that are active in the area are united in the Council of the National Quality Programme of the Slovak Republic that coordinates and manages activities in the area.
The level of regional and local administration is managed by the Ministry of Interior of SR (Section of Public Administration). There is no particular policy in place so it is up to an individual public administration organisation to decide to go or not to go for the quality management and select a particular tool or model.
Activities in the area of quality and business excellence in Slovene public administration is characterized with the combination of ’top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches.
The ‘top down’ approach is being used in particular in the activities of the Ministry responsible for public administration and guidance of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. It is aimed at (co)-preparation of different strategic and development documents relating to the quality of performance of Slovene administration, development of joint basis, methodological tools and frameworks, as well as the institutionalization of good practices and quality standards into the legislation.
Among present strategic and development documents we would like to mention only the Slovenia's Development Strategy and the Reform Programme for Achieving the Lisbon Strategy Goals, because they define the necessary emphases for the third development strategy of the Republic of Slovenia: efficient and less costly state. The Ministry for Public Administration applies the efforts for higher quality and efficiency to the individual and connective spheres of the functioning of Slovene public administration, such as, for example, e-administration or removal of administrative burdens.
The ‘bottom up’ approach denotes activities in the introduction of systems that will bring quality into individual bodies/organizations of public administration. Foremost, in relates to the introduction of systems of quality management according to ISO 9000 standards, or according to principles of business excellence, for example CAF and EFQM. In the environments where more managerial and organizational knowledge is present, other organizational models are used as well. It should be stated here, that bodies of public administration decide independently for themselves which road to quality improvement they choose, however, it is expected that in such pursuit they will be proactive.
The public administration organizations in general follow the strategy of ‘incremental adjustment’ – it means that the changes in an organization are introduced according to the step by step method. This strategy follows a rational approach, is based on a continuity and continuous adjustment of basic competences and processes of the organization. It supports the all encompassing quality management for the improvement of such organization. Main characteristics and advantages of this strategy are: conformity of the organizational structure with its basic competences, adjustment of activities to the cultural norms of the organization, implementation of corrections and adjustment of deviations in regard to the accepted standards, and incessant search for opportunities to improve, be it within the organization or without.
UK: Quality Management is the UK has been driven by both central strategies and local initiatives. It is however part of a much broader range of policy and initiatives and it is therefore difficult within the constraints of this questionnaire to give a comprehensive or complete picture of quality initiatives and approaches.
Full details of a range of ways in which public administration is managed are available at the website of HM Treasury. www.hm-treasury.gov.uk
2.2 Combination of Centralized / Decentralized Approach ONLY DE
In Germany both is to be found, because of the federal structure; Centralisation (described CAF-Centre in Cologne) and Decentralisation (Federal Administrations). zentral (CAF) und dezentral (Verantwortung der Behörden)
The Principle of voluntariness is one of the main import agreements. Not the duty to establish QM shall be deemed to be the right way. In fact it would be the strategy to underline the principle of voluntariness and inform and convince of it as the innovative way on public events like expositions, during continuing education, congresses and other conferences e.g. for the management of administration. Planned is a “Centre of Compentence” in the nearer future.
The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the policy of quality management promotion. But different public administration institutions can implement different means of quality management because in Lithuania the implementation of the quality management methods depends on the different institutions.
2.3 Centralized & Top–Down ApproachCY:
Due to the fact that Cyprus is a small community the approach towards QM is centralised and top down, although, it should be mentioned, that this approach is not desirable. QM issues are managed and promoted from the Public Administration and Personnel Department (PAPD) of the Ministry of Finance which cooperates closely with the Cyprus Academy of Public Administration (CAPA). There is a general framework and action plan towards QM with the aim to support government departments and other public organisations to adopt specific quality practices and measures.
It should be noted that, in some cases the approach towards implementation of quality practices is decentralised and bottom up. For example an innovative and important activity of the CAPA is the promotion of a systemic and decentralised management of learning within public service organisations, in close cooperation with local managers, through the establishment, training, support and electronic connection of Learning Units. These are teams – one in each organisation - responsible for managing learning in their respective organisations. The task of each Learning Unit is to conduct annual Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) in its organisation and plan, implement and evaluate learning activities to meet the needs that have been identified.
2.4 Centralized & Combination of Top–Down and Bottom–Up Approach LU:
Through the National CAF programm, the global approach of a quality management is in 4 steps:
Self assessment by CAF model,
action plan definition,
action plan implementation,
Measuring, benchlearning, exchange of good practices.
2.5 Decentralized & Combination of Top–Down and Bottom–Up Approach EE:
We can say that approach in Estonia is very much decentralised as ministries and agencies themselves can decide whether or not they use any quality management methods.
During last years the quality approach has been more bottom-up, as agencies themselves have showed initiative to implement quality methods, however we can say that it is rather a combination as Ministry of Finance is organising trainings, gathering information in this field etc.
Although because of these regulations it is sometimes viewed as a very centralized system in reality the implementation of quality management could be characterised as decentralized. Institutions make decisions, choose and implement their QM strategies mostly on their own. On the vertical axis, the approach combines top downand bottom up elements. For instance, the overall quality of the work of public institutions – administrative burden, better regulation, effectiveness, impact assessment, strategic planning, e-governance etc. – is coordinated by the State Chancellery. Detailed planning and implementation is divided among public sector and the way institutions deal with their functions and even more their own quality management issues of the institutions is completely their responsibility.
2.6 Combination of Top–Down and Bottom–Up Approach ONLY IT:
The national approach is consistent with the European policies and recommendations.
In particular, the Department of Public Administration has played an enabling role without imposing particular solutions and leaving open to each PA the choice of the most adequate tools.
A more comprehensive approach has been adopted in 2006 when:
a civil service memorandum has been approved putting emphasis on issues such as quality, meritocracy, efficiency and productivity, cutting wasteful use of resources, citizen’ and business’ participation in the evaluation of results
memorandums of understanding singed with the ministries of Justice and Education, aimed at the definition of administrative performance indicators
the government’s program focused on the improvement of the quality of services.
LL – Regarding the approach
A new minister, a new management can improve, develop, take initiatives, give new approach, implement new tool in the administration.
The full support of line managers (middle management) is fundamental in order to adopt a decentrilised approach in QM, which is the most desired approach. To this end, line managers need to undertake training in Quality and Strategic Management.
In addition to the above, it is important to have personal contact with the line managers in order to educate them and make them realise the value of implementing QM politics and practices.
A lesson learned is that in spite of the fact that the Danish approached is based on recommendations and very few rules, the use of tools and models recommended by the central government are very widely spread.
The soft way of encouraging and trying to help organisations on their quality path is sometimes slow but our lessons are that it produces a more sustainable result and commitment in the organisations than a stronger steering role.
The combination of these different approaches contributes to the intensifying of public administration’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Those services based on the direct contact with citizens make more use of customer satisfaction tools as a way to listen and understand the users’ needs.
PAs with a more service production mission or that have specific types of users (such as firms) are the first ones to adopt ISO certification.
To make a decentralized system work effectively, there must be strong and continuous information exchange among the institutions.
Strong need for Implication of the top Management, internal communication to all the actors involved.
A successful drive for change at a service-wide level must combine top-down direction with line management initiative. Line managers must be made to feel accountable for results in their field of operations. But they must also feel empowered to tailor change initiatives to their unit’s circumstances.
A thorough knowledge on QM situation in public institutions can significantly help in devising an overall QM strategy in PA. The strategy should cover a broad scope of activities such as training, networking, assistance in QM implementation, dissemination of QM tools, promotion and information campaign, etc.
It’s important for key central-level public actors to cooperate and to formulate/run complementary quality policies.
Formal acceptation of the culture of quality in general (considered as no rejection)
Existence of a concrete point of reference for the public administrations
General acceptance of formal culture for commitment and accountability
Introduction of the measurement an organisational culture for learning
Development of mechanisms for competition, benchmarking and recognition
The scope of General Quality Management programmes mostly covers Central Government Administration (is not comprehensive for the other administrative levels and the rest of sectors)
Lack of a systematic and gradual approach on the basis of the existing Quality Management, Environment and Risk at Work models to enable the organisations to establish the suitable plans according to their situation
Heterogeneous dissemination and implementation of quality tools
Lack of consolidation in the deployment of the programmes
QM approaches are out of alignment with e-Administration and Innovation approaches in Central Government Administration
Insufficient responsiveness of public administrations to citizen/user needs.