What is administrative reform

Administrative reform

1. Generally: Collective term for organizational, personnel, procedural and instrumental reforms and adaptation measures of public administrations with the aim of creating efficient administrative units, the institutionalization of clear administrative responsibilities, administrative simplification, the reduction of administrative tasks, efficient administrative management (New Public Management (NPM), new control model) (NSM)) and the closeness of the administration to the citizens.

2. Administrative reform as territorial reform: Refers to reducing the discrepancy between the public task and efficient performance of tasks on the one hand and the territorial layout on the other, especially in the case of local self-government bodies. In the old federal states the regional reform was carried out at the local level at the end of the 1960s with more or less great success, in the new federal states the number of municipalities has been reduced since reunification.

3. Administrative reform as a functional reform: Refers to the distribution of responsibilities between the individual administrative levels, especially the delegation of tasks downwards. Administrative reform as a functional reform usually also affects a redistribution of availability via resources.

4. Administrative reform as organizational reform: Refers to the organizational structure of the federal / state organs and their relationships to one another. At the municipal level, the main focus is on reforming the municipal constitution in connection with approaches for efficient organizational structures.

5. Administrative reform as a reform of public service law and human resources: Refers to the restructuring of the relationships between the employees and the public employer, but also, more recently, to the creation of the prerequisites for the application of personnel management measures (especially personnel development). This includes the discussion of the change in the career principle with its permanent entry-level positions through to the general abolition of civil servant status in individual public areas of responsibility. This discussion is encouraged by EU development.

6. Administrative reform as a reform of the management and control instruments of public administrations, especially as a reform of the accounting system: The traditional accounting of public administrations (cameralistics), especially at the federal and state level, shows considerable information deficits. It does not provide any information about the actual financial and asset situation of the local authority. It continues to provide no or only inadequate information about the intertemporal distribution of resource consumption and resource production, i.e. there is a risk of financial burdens being inappropriately shifted into the future. In addition, there is a lack of information on the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative action. To reduce this information deficit, three main accounts are required: an asset account, a profitability account and a financial account (payment account). All three invoices are to be kept in a network using the double-entry bookkeeping technique, whereby transactions are recorded in the income statement that influence the net position of the balance sheet (transactions affecting income), while the financial statement takes up payment transactions.

7. Administrative reform as financial reform: Based on the reform carried out in 1969, it relates to the redistribution of tax revenue between the federal, state and local governments. After reunification, a completely new regulation of financial equalization between the federal, state and local authorities was pending.

8. Administrative reform as an internal change (internal modernization): Takes place in the form of changes to organizational structures (e.g. decentralization, outsourcing, formal privatization), decision-making powers (e.g. factual regulation of the right to sign, delegation of decisions), procedures (application of certain decision-making techniques such as utility analysis, cost-benefit analysis) and instruments (application of costs - and performance bills). Administrative reform as an internal reform can only take place within the framework of the constitutive conditions.

9. Administrative reform as a change from administration to public management is based on administrations as service units that are to be controlled using current management knowledge and taking market conditions into account.