Quality management in public administration implies reporting and efficiency as a fundamental principle. Service quality involves availability (convenient working hours), adequate structure of facilities and attitude of employees, simple procedures or, by contrary, too complicated procedures and other factors.
Introduction of quality systems in public administration was started in 1999 – a working group prepared a document which was approved by the Cabinet on 4 December 2001 as Regulations No.501 “Regulations on Implementation of the Quality Management System in Public Administration Institutions”. On 11 December 2001 the Cabinet adopted Recommendations No.1 “On Implementation of the Quality Management System in Public Administration Institutions”. These acts are based on requirements under the standard ISO 9001:2000 or Latvia’s national standard LVS EN ISO 9001.
Introduction of quality management and ensuring the quality of services in Latvia is decentralised and voluntary process – the decision to introduce quality management is taken by the head of an institution.
According to the survey performed by the State Chancellery, 42.5% of direct public administration institutions are implementing quality management, and 65.9% are planning to implement the system. More than a half of respondents implement the quality management system in line with the above-mentioned Cabinet Regulations, ISO standard, or by aligning these requirements according to institution’s needs. 11.8% use the TQM (Total Quality Management), 4.4% - CAF (Common Assessment Framework) or other quality management instruments.
A frequently used instrument for quality assessment of public administration institution in EU countries is the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) (link to the CAF division). It includes the main features of the EFQM Excellence Model and Speyer Model adjusted according to the needs in public administration. The CAF is based on two principles – compliance and suitability for the specific features of public administration, and connectivity with other most popular organisational models of public administration and private organisations in Europe.
Latvia’s Quality Award is an incentive aimed at motivating people to address quality issues and requirements of market economy. Public administration institutions are assessed separately according to the criteria set for big companies.
Skills needed for quality management can be acquired in the Latvian School of Public Administration.
In order to promote implementation of quality management in public administration institutions, it is planned to prepare recommendations on implementation of the quality management system in view of experience gained by Latvia’s public administration institutions and EU countries. It is also planned to develop the training system in matters related to quality management.