The OECD Analysis of Public Governance of Estonia: Fragmentation is the Greatest Problem
This article provides a brief focused overview of the OECD analysis of the functioning of Estonian governance sector “Towards a Single Government Approach”.
It is a thorough analysis of governance ordered by Estonian state. The governance of Estonia is built on relatively independent ministries who are responsible for their area of government. All this makes setting and realising common goals complicated for the Government. The main message of the OECD is that Estonia should move towards a single government approach. In order to achieve that, it is necessary to make the work of central government more flexible, to improve co-operation between agencies and to give more focus than before to common realisation of the Government’s objectives, and also to find possibilities for raising the quality of services offered by the state and local governments and for unifying the quality of services in local governments. In addition to functioning of the Government as a whole, active steps need to be taken that the development of the state would have a clear goal and a common action plan. At present, there are about 70 strategy documents in Estonia which have been approved by the Riigikogu and the Government. Their abundance confirms that every agency has its own idea of what is important in the development of Estonia and no common understanding has emerged. The abundance of strategy documents only increases agency-centeredness and gives a bureaucratic flavour to strategies. The OECD finds that, in order to overcome fragmentation, the Government should be made to work as a whole in Estonia. All this means that state agencies will have to extend their work outside the boundaries of their formal competence in order to achieve common goals and to offer solutions to complicated political problems.