Public Services Effectiveness Audit in Poland

The main aim of the project “Citizen Effectiveness Audit of Public Services Provided by Local Government” was to empower local communities and non-government organizations within 20 municipalities of the Małopolskie Region to develop standards for public services provided by public offices, and for their subsequent scrutiny.

In order to achieve the aim of the project, a review of public services was conducted in selected offices along with an analysis with the use of Activity Based Costing (ABC) of how selected services are realized. The ABC method was adapted to the specifics of public administration and a public services cost calculator will be created, with which the adequacy of such costs was verified in selected public offices throughout the Małopolskie Region. A methodology of civic dialogue and electronic discussion environment was created.

The „Network monitoring effectiveness of public services”, encompassing members of local community and non-governmental organizations was launched; a number of dissemination actions were taken to promote results of the project.

The following tasks were implemented:

  • Deployment of public services cost calculator in 20 local government offices throughout the Małopolska Region, which will result facilitate comparative effectiveness analysis of selected administrative services.
  • Acquisition by 20 Małopolska Region local government offices’ representatives of a knowledge necessary to conduct an assessment and manage effectiveness of public services provided; this will be achieved by publication and distribution of the “modern public administration manager handbook” and training of civil servants.
  • Raising awareness of civil servants representing 20 Małopolskie Region local government offices to the need and the process for conducting civic dialogue within the public services monitoring process; this goal will be achieved through publication and distribution of the civic dialogue methodology and training of civil servants.
  • Creation of lasting foundations for participation of local communities and non-governmental organizations from Małopolska in creation of standards for public services and for oversight of those standards, through employment of electronic discussion environment.
  • Reinforcement of local community and NGO’s impact on local government, through the launch of the Network.
  • Raising the knowledge and competences of local community and NGO representatives in respect to assessment of selected public services provided by local government, through publication and distribution of a brochure and training of members of the Network.

By using tools created within the project, local authorities gained the information without which they were previously unable to make informed managerial decisions related to the provision of services. Decision-makers are thus able to conduct an ongoing efficiency benchmarking. As a result, local governments will start to compete for the most efficient delivery of public services, benefitting local communities.