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Conclusions of the Seminar by Bianca Brétéché

Conclusions of the Seminar by Bianca Brétéché

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  • 1. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, 4th ENP Networking Seminar Trust in Government Conclusions Bianca Brétéché, SIGMA OECD, Paris 2-3 December 2013 © OECD
  • 2. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Importance of Trust - Citizen’s trust in government = fundamental for acceptance that government decisions are legitimate - Only when decisions are perceived as legitimate will governments be “successful” in their policies (have good policy outcomes)
  • 3. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Reasons for lack of trust - History and culture - Absence of political consensus (“government doesn’t listen to us”) - Economic/political crisis
  • 4. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Incentives for reform  Internal need felt at different levels of society  Enthusiasm and desire for change  Expectations of citizens  International standards or EU or other external pressure  Economic crisis
  • 5. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Obstacles to reform Those afraid of changes because of fear of • Loss of political powers • Worsening economic situation Conventional bureaucracy Civil servants (like all human beings) are “routine-animals”
  • 6. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Conclusions from presentations and discussions Key foundation stones for building and maintaining trust in government: - Transparency Accountability Integrity Participation
  • 7. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Transparency - Not an end in itself - Context matters (transparency not always 1st demand of citizens) - Transparency is not communication but providing clear and complete information - Quality of information matters (e.g. budget): - Timeliness Relevance Reliability Comprehensiveness
  • 8. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Accountability - Results matter - Public information about government activities provides basis for holding governments to account - Independent expert opinion to explain technical information needed (e.g.: SAIs to audit and explain/report) to avoid wrong interpretations - example: Financing of political parties:  To avoid that business controls a political party  Accounts are published and controlled
  • 9. • Democracy gaps leading to the desire for integrity reform and fight against corruption: principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Integrity  Debates about values  Constitutional changes/Legal changes  Challenge: Implementation • Can integrity systems develop in “non-democratic” systems?  Step by step approach  Rather do the possible than do nothing  Use the time for intellectual work and preparation of a democratic system until the time is ripe
  • 10. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Participation • Informed societies/citizens • Encouragement • Ex.: Participation of NGOs in budget planning  Drafts of parts of budget are published by line ministries  Feedback from NGOs  Draft budget adopted by Government (before sending it to Parliament)  NGO participation in discussions on budget of parliamentary committees
  • 11. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Citizens will trust governments that are able to prove their ability to • • • • • Protect citizens Secure citizens’ rights Improve citizens’ lives Promote entrepreneurship Provide good governance
  • 12. principally financed by the EU A joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union, Thank you!