The public administration reform is implemented in accordance with the “Strategy of Public Administration Reform for 2001-2006” and the plan for its implementation. Implementation of the strategy and the plan is supervised by the Public Administration Reform Council, which is a consultative body consisting of representatives of non-governmental organizations, businessmen, universities, courts, local governments, the Saeima and public administration institutions.
The public administration reform policy covers the following areas:
1) Unified, purposeful and future-oriented public administration – improvement of the policy-making process of public administration, institutional reform of public administration, introduction of strategic planning in institutions;
2) Stable and efficient financial and budget management – introduction of medium-term budget planning;
3) Increasing the trust of people in public administration and public involvement in the process of public administration – ensuring public involvement in the making of public policy;
4) Improvement of the quality of public services – reduction of administrative obstacles, development and implementation of quality management systems;
5) Personnel policy of public administration and development of human resources – improvement of salary system, promotion of quality of education and professional development of people working in public administration, introduction of the competence model in personnel management.
Since 2003, the function of policy-making in public administration is assigned to the State Chancellery of the Republic of Latvia. This function was handed over from the Secretariat of the Minister for Special Assignments for State Reforms because the Cabinet of Ministers of Einars Repše, which took office in 2002, did not include a post in charge of the public administration policy.
Political responsibility in this area was assigned to the Prime Minister, thus, concentrating the development of public administration policies in the core of the government. A State Reforms Division was formed in the Policy Coordination Department of the State Chancellery. This Division is responsible for matters related to the development and coordination of public administration policies, but the development and coordination of local governments’ policies was assigned to the Minister for Regional Development and Local-governments.
In 2005 the Strategy of Public Administration Reform for 2001-2006 was assessed resulting in a respective implementation plan and indication of main directions for the development of public administration.
Issues of public administration reform became topical immediately after the Republic of Latvia regained independence. Systematic public administration reform was started in 1993, when the Law on Structure of the Cabinet was restored, a law on civil service was adopted, and the State Reform Ministry, the School of Public Administration and the State Civil Service Administration were created.
In 1995, the concept of public administration reform of Latvia was adopted and, in general, during the 5th convocation of the Saeima the reform had a priority status. Since then, institutional changes have taken place in institutions responsible for the public administration reform – the Public Administration Reform Bureau (1997-2000), Minister of Special Assignments for Affairs of State Administration and Municipality Reforms (1999-2000), Minister of Special Assignments for Affairs of State Reforms (2000-2002).
The most important laws and regulations on development of public administration have been adopted – State Civil Service Law, Law on Public Agencies, Administrative Procedure Law, State Administration Structure Law, and the Strategy of Public Administration Reform for 2001-2006.
Significant support in implementing the public administration reform came from the World Bank, British Council, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), and European Union.