The Regional Meeting of the Working Group IV on Public Service Delivery, Public Private Partnerships and Regulatory Reform took place in Tunis, Tunisia on 19th of May 2009. The meeting was organised in co-operation between OECD and the Tunisian Prime Ministry. The meeting was held within the framework of the Good Governance for Development (GfD) in Arab Countries Initiative (www.oecd.org/mena/governance).
There were approximately 65 participants who attended the seminar.
Participants from six MENA delegations were present:
as well as from 7 OECD member countries:
Other institutions represented were the African Development Bank (AfDB)
The main objective of the meeting of the Working Group IV on Public Service Delivery, Public Private Partnerships and Regulatory Reform was to analyse activities organised over the past year within the framework of this Working Group and discuss general guidelines for the future programme of work. Moreover, this meeting provided an international forum in which to analyse how the contribution of regulatory policies improves the current economic situation in MENA countries, discuss the progress being made on law drafting capacities, and launch the Regional Centre of Expertise for Regulatory Quality (RCERQ) by the Tunisian government.
The Regional Meeting of the WG IV provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and showcase studies on countries’ reform efforts in capacity building and regulatory reform. It was designed to analyse the impact of the economic and financial crisis on the reform programs of participating countries and how better regulatory policy can contribute to improving the economic situation. It was agreed that state action reacting to the crisis needs to be based on multilateralism; global solutions are required for global problems. The goal should be to improve and promote conditions that increase investment, trade and thus economic growth.
In the second session delegates reviewed the progress of the activities organised within the framework of the WG IV and agreed on general guidelines for the programme of work ahead. There was a appeal to increase the support to the Good Governance for Development (GfD) Initiative through: 1) sustaining political support; 2) creating institutions for training; 3) promoting sequencing of reform, shedding light in which reforms should come first; 4) encouraging a more intensified presence from participating countries and promoting engagement from other less participative countries.
Delegates had an opportunity to discuss how the impact of the WG activities could be reinforced and its programme of work enriched in the future in different areas, mainly:
Delegates agreed to submit a text to ministers for their consideration - PDF 44KB). This is the WG’s contribution to the Declaration of the forthcoming GfDMinisterial Conference: “Beyond the crisis, putting citizens and business at the centre of policy responses”.
Delegates reaffirmed that multilateral co-operation plays a key role in the promotion of the principles of good regulation. This co-operation enhances knowledge, generalises good practice and generally promotes better policies. In particular, the Good Governance for Development (GfD) in Arab Countries Initiative has been a successful mechanism to reinforce the capacities of policy makers, share practices and experience, and strengthen national reform agendas.
The Draft Regional Charter for Regulatory Quality is a document which sets out principles for quality regulatory management which have been agreed upon by OECD and MENA countries participating in the GfD Initiative. The approval of this Chart should help promote common principles and facilitate the implementation of regulatory reform policies. The text submitted should be consulted upon within each country and submitted for approval during the upcoming MENA Special Session of the OECD Working Party on Regulatory Management and Reform which will be held at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France, on 21 September.
During the second part of the meeting participants had the opportunity to discuss progress on law drafting capacities in Arab countries. Delegates at the Working Group IV had previously identified law drafting capacities as a key priority in the field of regulatory reform in the MENA region. In October 2008, delegates at the fourth Special Session of the OECD Working Party on Regulatory Management and Reform agreed in launching a collaboration with the OECD to assess and promote good practices in the creation of law drafting capacities. The process of data collection, analysis and discussions with participating countries has been under way since this meeting. Data consolidation and analysis will take place in the coming months and a final report will be produced in autumn 2009 which will synthesise findings. Results will be presented in the forthcoming OECD publication on Public Management in Arab Countries.
Data collection highlighted five main preliminary results during the meeting:
- Approaches to law drafting and the creation of capacities are heterogeneous across the MENA region;
- Strong institutional frameworks are in place but there is still room to improve coordination;
- Specialised training on law drafting has been developed unevenly across countries;
- Lack of personnel drafting legal texts can be an obstacle;
- Providing guidance on drafting is an identified need that some countries are presently facing.
During the launching of the RCERQ by the Government of Tunisia, delegates had the opportunity to discuss the role of this institution, its objectives, its governance structure and its future activities which would include pilot training programmes in 2009-10 with a regional dimension. Participants agreed on the important role of this centre, which will provide the means to disseminate knowledge and promote better regulatory management and reform capacities.
Participants have demonstrated their desire to continue their co-operation within the framework of the GfD Initiative and participate in the activities related to the public service delivery, public private partnerships and regulatory reform:
List of Participants - PDF 100KB)
Session 1. Regulatory Policy Contribution to the Improvement of the Economic Environment
Session 2. Work Programme for 2009-10 and contribution of the Working Group IV to the GfD Ministerial Meeting
Session 3. Experiences in the MENA Region on Improving Law Drafting Capacities
Session 4. Launching of the Regional Centre of Expertise for Regulatory Quality (RCERQ)