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A new deal for administrative leadership in the renewed flemish government administration

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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In recent years (2000-2006) the Flemish government administration (FGA) implemented fundamental reforms known as the ‘Beter Bestuurlijk Beleid’ (BBB, better administrative policy) project in order to become a more transparent and stronger administration.

This BBB project alludes to a style of leadership guided by the two principles of ‘primacy of politics’ and ‘good governance’. Management is given a more pronounced role in policy development, execution and evaluation. This increased autonomy and responsibility demands accountability concerning the efficient, effective and economic use of available resources. Herein, a qualitative citizen-oriented service has a central position. In order to implement this new management, a workgroup has been set up with the task of developing a uniform set of tools to support the FGA’s management in obtaining this goal. Illustrative examples of the developed tools are the Guideline Internal Control (GIC) and the informative website. The GIC is an extensive guide of management measures, tips and guidelines on how to set up a highly performing IC system within an organisation and keep it alert and attuned to the specific context of the FGA.

Through the implementation of BBB the FGA has been evolving from a traditional civil service organisation into a professionally managed, top-performing organisation in which management has a bigger responsibility, linked to accountability. The project is situated within the field of New Public Management in which the innovative aspect is primarily expressed in the evolution of the principles of legitimacy, legal security and legal equality towards effectiveness, efficiency, economy, ethics and environment. The close involvement of the various parties in this project, guarantees its acceptance within the organisation. Management appreciates the alignment of the various players and the support for the reference framework. The message has penetrated over the last year that each member of staff is also concerned with the attainment of BBB on a daily basis, even if they are not always conscious of it. After all, accountability, like quality awareness, is a matter for everyone. Thanks to this project, Management is continuously challenged to develop their organisation by allowing itself to be inspired by good practices shown by colleague organisations. This attitude gradually is driving out the old mentality, whereby entities competed against each other, and is now undeniably leading to more efficient working in the FGA.

The project serves the broader BBB-goal, the vision of contributing in a convincing and powerful way to sustainable wealth and well-being for the entire Flemish population by implementing a proactive and effective policy for citizens, companies and organisations. Today, the set of tools is also used by the Flemish provinces and local administrations. The Federal and Brussels public departments have also shown an interest in the FGA’s approach. In an international context, government delegations from South Africa, China and South Korea have already been inspired by it.

Award info
Award category: leadership and change
Award type: submission
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Economic affairs, competition, SME
Type of activity:
Keywords: Reform, autonomy, responsibility, accountability, nternal control, qualitative citizen-oriented service
Short English description: The project serves the broader BBB-goal, the vision of contributing in a convincing and powerful way to sustainable wealth and well-being for the entire Flemish population by implementing a proactive and effective policy for citizens, companies and organisations
Further information
Organisation: Flemish Government
Other applicants: Representatives of the departments of Public Governance and Budget and Finances; Representatives of the cabinets of the Minister-President, the Minister for Public Governance and the Minister of Budget and Finances; Internal Audit of the Flemish Administration (IAFA); Court of Audit of Belgium, Finances Inspection; Representatives of other departments and agencies
Homepage:
Level of government: regional level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Belgium
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:
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A new deal for administrative leadership in the renewed flemish government administration (50.8427501, 4.3515499)
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