Items in this collection
PublicationEthics and Corruption in the Federal Public Service: Civil Servants' Perspectives(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-12-09) World BankThis Survey on Ethics and Corruption in the Federal Public Service was held online from April 28 to May 28, 2021, in partnership with the Office of the Federal Comptroller General (CGU), the Ministry of the Economy, and the National School of Public Administration (ENAP). All civil servants were represented in the sample, totaling 22,130 respondents. The sample covered all federative units and ministries. Most civil servants report having witnessed some sort of unethical practice during their time in the public sector. Of all respondents, 58.7 percent stated that they witnessed some unethical practice during their career in public service. The most frequent practices were using one's position to help friends or family and bending the rules under pressure from one’s superiors. Over the past three years, around one third of all civil servants (33.4 percent) witnessed some unethical practice, according to their reports. Corruption in the public service is multifaceted, thus requiring granular information about its nature, prevalence, and vulnerable actors. In view of its scope, thematic scope, and representativeness, the data generated by the study could become a valuable source for the development of knowledge about corruption in the federal public service. We hope that this Survey on Ethics and Corruption in the Federal Public Service becomes a tool to complement current and future efforts to fight corruption. PublicationThe Evolving Role of the Planning Function: International Experience and Reform Options for India(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-01) World BankThis note presents the main trends in strategic planning across public sector administrations in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, South Korea, and Colombia. It was prepared in response to the Indian Government's interest in understanding the emerging trends in the evolution of strategic planning in a range of countries and effectively adapting this function across public administration at the national and subnational levels. PublicationOpportunities and Challenges for Public Procurement in the First Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results From an Experts Survey(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04-19) World BankThe COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented circumstances and challenges in many dimensions, without clear ex ante directions and guidance on the best strategies for coping with the emergency, including in public procurement. As a result, especially in the first months of the pandemic, governments responded to the COVID-19 crisis in myriad ways. To rationalize and take stock of these diverse experiences and challenges, the World Bank’s Procurement and Standards Global Unit and Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) unit conducted an International Survey of Procurement Specialists and Experts to document the legal and administrative framework for national emergency public procurement in the first months after the global COVID-19 outbreak. The survey was implemented between May and August 2020 and received 136 contributions covering 103 countries. The authors find that (a) some countries relied more heavily on high-risk procedures than on the procedures considered critical for effective and efficient emergency procurement; (b) lack of clarity on procurement needs and lack of coordination were significant bottlenecks experienced by most surveyed countries; (c) transparency and accountability standards deteriorated for COVID-19-related procurement relative to standard procurement; and (d) e-procurement, lessons from previous emergencies, and the quality of institutions are factors that enable national procurement systems to respond in a timely and effective manner to emergencies such as the COVID-19 crisis. Using these results, authors provide policy recommendations to guide countries to prepare and adapt their national procurement systems to respond to critical emergencies such as the COVID-19 crisis. PublicationCorporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises in Europe and Central Asia: A Survey(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12-01) World BankThe Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises in Europe and Central Asia Survey analyzes the transparency and control environment governing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in selected countries of the Europe and Central Asia Region (ECA), with an emphasis on financial reporting, auditing, and transparency requirements. The survey builds on and complements several studies on SOE governance that World Bank teams have carried out around the ECA Region. The purpose of this survey is to provide the countries with an easy-to-follow benchmarking comparison of SOE practices in accountability requirements across the ECA Region. The survey will also inform ongoing and future World Bank assistance to partner countries in the areas of SOE financial accountability, controls, and transparency. The survey aims to assist governments and SOE ownership entities in carrying out reforms and implementing effective SOE monitoring mechanisms and corporate governance practices. PublicationCitizen Engagement in Operations: A Stock-Take of Citizen Engagement in Development Policy Financing(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Kumagai, SakiGuided by the 2014 Strategic Framework for Mainstreaming Citizen Engagement in World Bank Group Operations, the World Bank supports policies, programs, projects, and advisory services and analytics where citizen engagement (CE) can improve development results. While the corporate commitment to mainstream CE targets investment operations, the World Bank teams continue to explore CE in other instruments. Engaging Citizens for Better Development Results, a report by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), assessed the Bank Group’s efforts to mainstream CE. It recommends the World Bank “encourage and support efforts of its regional, country, and Global Practices teams to establish, where appropriate, thick CE that is regular and continuous, uses multiple tools, and is embedded in country systems.” It also suggests this objective could be achieved by more systematically using existing channels of dialogue and stakeholder engagement, including that of Development Policy Financing (DPF), and applying tools at the various levels. Given this context, this Governance Note aims to take stock of existing CE practice in DPF by shedding light on the prior action usage. PublicationBangladesh: Political Economy of Right to Information(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04-30) Ahsan, Syed Khaled; Hasan, Sadik; Imran, Nadee NaboneetaThe Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2009, was a milestone in the legal history of Bangladesh to ensure people’s right to obtain information from the government offices and other organizations. This act covers most bodies owned, controlled, or substantially financed either directly or indirectly by the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The act aims at giving citizens the right to hold the government accountable. In the 1990s, civil society advocated for the RTI Act as one of the best-fitted tools to establish good governance. The act was drafted by the government and civil society organizations (CSOs) together, following an analysis of a few other RTI Acts. A caretaker administration further cemented the path for the introduction of the RTI Act. The Council of Advisors of the caretaker administration approved the RTI Ordinance in September 2008, and it became formally recognized as a law from October 20, 2008. The democratically elected new government passed the RTI Act in March 2009, in the very first session of Parliament. The context of introducing a law for RTI in Bangladesh was different from that of India. The demand came from the grassroots level in India with a 40-day sit-in protest by a citizens’ rights body in 1996. In the case of Bangladesh, it came from Dhaka-based elites and lacked connection with the grassroots (Article 19 2015). The RTI Act, 2009, helps investigative journalism, but that is not the entire goal of this act. The goal is to empower citizens with information and make livelihoods easier for the ones who will otherwise have no means of getting answers from the state or other social actors. PublicationBangladesh Right To Information Survey 2019(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020) World BankThe year 2019 marks the tenth year of the Right to Information (RTI) act enactment in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has made good progress in implementing the RTI Act 2009 in the past decade. The RTI survey was conducted between January and March of 2019. The survey results reveal that the contribution of the RIT Act 2009 has overall been positive in the last decade. Especially, notable progress has taken place in making the supply side prepared in implementing the RTI Act. The survey will enable policymakers and RTI activists to identify and seal the pores and bring about the desired changes in perception, behavior, and actions of various stakeholders, including the citizens. PublicationMyanmar Pay, Compensation, and Human Resource Management Review(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018) World BankThe Myanmar Pay, Compensation and Human Resource Management Review was undertaken in 2015-2017 in response to the Government of Myanmar’s request for advice to inform compensation and human resource policies that reflect country-specific challenges. The analysis, generously supported by Denmark, Australia and UK-DFID, was jointly conducted by the Government of Myanmar and the World Bank.In addition to the analysis, the review aimed to develop capacity of government agencies responsible for wage-bill and human resource management. Capacity development happens within institutions, and can only be effective, if government assumes strong ownership. In this context, the Union Cabinet established the “Pay, Compensation, and Human Resource Review Implementation Inter-Ministerial Committee” comprising key ministries to oversee the review. The World Bank team worked closely with a task team in the Ministry of Planning and Finance.The main methods used to review the government’s pay and compensation system included: i) review of government regulations; ii) analysis of administrative data; iii) focus group discussions and a small survey to assess civil servants’ perception about pay and human resource functions; and iv) a model that simulates the impact of potential changes to pay and employment, customized to Myanmar’s circumstances. This model can be applied by the Ministry of Planning and Finance for future wage-bill planning. Specifically, the model helped highlight that size of the wage bill is not an immediate concern. Its rapid growth in recent years, as well as growing fiscal vulnerabilities from potential external shocks, demand closer attention to overall growth in the public-sector wage bill. Future salary increases may need careful targeting given the growing attractiveness of the private sector as a career option for young talent and professionals.The review also drills down on the education sector. Constituting nearly 40 percent of the total workforce employed by the Union Government, the education sector makes up nearly one-half of the union budget’s wage bill. The review also provides important context for teacher policy on employment and pay, and suggests reform options for managing teacher workforce for better education outcomes.The findings suggest a series of policy priorities for improving the performance of the civil service. The report includes a wealth of findings and practical, realistic recommendations. However, it is only the first step on the long journey of evidence-based reforms to manage wage bill and performance of the Myanmar civil service. The Government of Myanmar and the Bank will continue to work together during implementation of the recommendations, and for future research and analysis. PublicationRepublic of Azerbaijan: Corporate Governance and Ownership of State Owned Enterprises(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-11) World BankThis Technical Note assesses the corporate governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Azerbaijan with a view to supporting the government’s efforts to bolster economic development. Mutually reinforcing recommendations are closely linked and aim to increase accountability across the whole ownership structure of SOEs, from their ultimate owners, the citizens, to their employees. The Note outlines international good practice, summarizes current practices in Azerbaijan, and indicates areas for consideration to improve SOE corporate governance in Azerbaijan. The Note was prepared by a World Bank Group team, based on research and consultations during January - October 2017, to (i) analyze current SOE governance frameworks and practices in Azerbaijan and identify main deviations from international good practices; and (ii) develop a series of policy recommendations for further reforms in strengthening SOEs governance and improving their effectiveness. This work may serve as a basis for further collaboration between the World Bank and the Government of Azerbaijan towards SOE reform and related policy considerations. Given the significance of SOEs and a range of important socio-economic and political-economy related factors, improving SOEs governance in Azerbaijan is a significant challenge. Implementation of any of the recommendations contained in this Note should form part of a broader strategy for SOEs linked to economic and sector strategies in Azerbaijan. This Note aims to build on the priorities outlined by the Strategic Roadmaps for the national economy and main economic sectors of Azerbaijan for 2016-2020, signed by the President of Azerbaijan on December 6, 2016. The Roadmaps re-affirm Azerbaijan’s priorities in diversification of its oil-dominant economy, reduce the State’s participation in the existing state-owned enterprises, and enable more private sector led growth. PublicationFormal Informality: Informal Practices of Formal Firms as a Key Business Constraint(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-10) World Bank GroupDespite strong economic growth in recent decades led by the resource-based sectors, Lao PDR facessignificant challenges, including high poverty rates and limited productivity. A highly challenging business and investment environment continues to hamper stronger private sector-led growth, especially outside the natural resource sectors, where job creation could be larger. In the still largely unreformed business and trade environment, the World Bank’s 2016 Enterprise Survey identified "practices of firms in the informal sector" as the biggest problem reported by firms in the country, and addressing these and other challenges fundamentally will be critical to generate inclusive growth. Based on interviews with business owners and top managers, this note finds that there are four main types of problematic informality in Lao PDR’s business environment: inadequately registered enterprises that "fly under the radar"; widespread tax evasion; irregular adherence to complex and burdensome regulations; and a culture of noncompliance with basic rules and standards. Fully registered and formalized firms incur higher costs and feel unfairly targeted by authorities who are eager to collect revenue and fulfil their mandates. Unregistered or rule-evading competitors are alleged to escape the same level of scrutiny, due to the difficulty of enforcement and prevalence of petty corruption. Tackling problematic informality in the business environment will require stronger institutions and a continued government focus on eliminating petty corruption. In the near-term, this note recommends eliminating unnecessary regulations and streamlining others by leveraging public support for transparency and consistency in the tax and regulatory systems. This should be complemented by a functional, efficient one stop window for enterprise registration to encourage formalization. Putting these recommendations into practice will require improved monitoring, evaluation, and assessment practices based on reliable and timely common data.