A 417-page OECD report released yesterday criticizes Estonia on several accounts, including inefficient governance and a condescending attitude towards civic activism.
The document notes that "Estonia needs to maximise limited human and financial resources by building innovative capacity and improving the flexibility and responsiveness of its public administration so that the different parts of the public sector – including the state and sub-national government – can work as a single government to realise objectives and to prepare for new challenges."
The current system of governance is fragmented and inefficient, according to the report. The lack of coordination between ministries and the failure to enact civil service reform which has stalled for over a decade, has created a situation where the work of ministries is not transparent enough and there is a lot of redundancy.
The report also includes a section on cooperation with civil society. The document notes that "while the public administration already undertakes a number of citizen participation activities, the vast majority of consultation occurs in the final stages of policy development, after a bill has already been drafted. Thus, consultation occurs too late in the policy development and implementation process to effectively influence decision making. To be effective, consultation should begin at the concept stage. However, this requires a civil society that has the capacity and capability to engage with government and the public administration in a productive manner, which is currently lacking in Estonia. Estonia should look to fully integrate citizen engagement practices as part of an RIA framework."