Spain’s public sector reform plans on the right track, says OECD report


1/04/2014 - Spain’s planned public sector reforms should help make the country’s institutions stronger and more effective, and proposals to increase transparency and root out corruption will do much to restore public trust, according to a new OECD report. 


The OECD’sPublic Governance Review of Spain: From Administrative Reform to Continuous Improvement gives a positive assessment of Spain’s CORA (Commission on Public Administration Reform) agenda and says few countries have put forward such ambitious and comprehensive plans for public reform. The review warns that the reforms must be an ongoing project, not a one-off exercise, and suggests giving citizens a bigger voice in the process – using social media to communicate and seek feedback – as a way to enhance trust. It also notes that support from sub-national governments will be crucial.


“Few countries have placed the strengthening of public institutions so high on their agendas,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, presenting the review in Madrid.


“The CORA reform is a way for Spain to restore public trust in institutions and ensure it comes out of the crisis with a more effective, transparent and efficient public sector that is adapted to the challenges of the 21st Century. This is a critical step in Spain’s efforts to build a future of strong, inclusive growth.” (Read the speech in Spanish by the Secretary-General)


The review praises the fact the reform plans are geared towards boosting growth and productivity rather than only to cutting costs or reducing headcount. It underlines the central role this package plays within the set of structural reforms undertaken by the Spanish government. Finally, it notes that Spain’s high degree of decentralisation makes it important to take a “whole-of-government” approach to ensure adequate co-ordination and integration. 


CORA is an inter-ministerial commission set up in October 2012 to find ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Spain’s public institutions. It produced 217 proposals in a June 2013 report and the Spanish government asked the OECD to review them.


For further information, or a copy of the report, please contact the OECD’s Media Division or call: +33 1 45 24 97 00.


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