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Management in Sant Cugat city hall budgeting the strategy: A new deal between political management and politic leadership

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Award winner

The City Council of Sant Cugat, like other public administrations throughout Europe being confronted with a set of global and local challenges, has experienced an urgent need to move from an ineffective administration to an organisation focused on strategies that can be executed effectively and that can have real impacts. Sant Cugat City Council was hindered by its bureaucratic structure; absenteeism and a lack of motivation, incentives and rewards; the inefficient use of public resources; and the difficulty in finding employees with a strong professional work ethic.

As a response, the City Council demonstrated its willingness to reform its public administration and to create innovative solutions to change its political and public management culture and practices. This project was launched to build an innovative city council on the back of an efficient, motivated and well-managed public administration that is fit to meet the challenges of the future. The objective is to create a new political and public management culture aligning organisation and stakeholder involvement in all processes. Further important objectives are: improving management efficiency and leadership in order to create an organisation capable of adapting to changing objectives; the implementation of a code of ethics on which to base new tools and methodologies; defining goals, transparency and responsibilities (accountability) and measuring impact, both inside and outside of the organisation. A systematic restructuring of management processes in the City Council, according to best practices adopted from the private sector, allow today’s political leaders to base their decisions on extensive data, understand the relationship between resources and objectives, and help to create a more motivated and professional public workforce. To increase efficiency Sant Cugat moved to a cost culture. Where previously budgets were expended, the new cost culture continually optimises economic resources against objectives. This promotes a political culture in which good policies are based on good resource management. A combination of teamwork and strong leadership enabled the successful implementation of this new regime, in line with practices in private organisations.

The first important phase was the creation of the Strategic Management Institute as a strategic tool for the city, which made it possible to dedicate resources released to the analysis, control and evaluation of the public services and organisations. A second phase was the establishment of the ‘new model for alignment and strategic competitiveness’ (PACTE), an agreement between political leaders, public managers and technical directors in 2008. Consensus amongst all political parties reflected a clear commitment to progress to a new political and public management culture.

Today Sant Cugat is a city prepared to face the future challenges both on a local and global level. Sant Cugat has created a new political and public management culture that can be considered as a reference for other European cities.

Award info
Award category: leadership and change
Award type: award
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity: e-government
Keywords: Strategic management, employees’ motivation, public concern, learning capacity and transferability, accountability, transparency, impact
Short English description: This project was launched to build an innovative city council on the back of an efficient, motivated and well-managed public administration that is fit to meet the challenges of the future
Further information
Organisation: Sant Cugat City Council
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://srv.originalets.com
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Spain
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Management in Sant Cugat city hall budgeting the strategy: A new deal between political management and politic leadership (41.4681236° N, 2.0797147° E)
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