Local Public Service Delivery Arrangements in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Local Public Service Delivery Arrangements in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Juraj Nemec (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Jana Soukopova (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) and Beata Mikusova Merickova (Matej Bel University, Slovakia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0320-0.ch019
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Abstract

This chapter discusses the issue of efficiency of the different modes of the provision of local public services in two selected new EU member states – the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have a long common history and it is feasible to include both of them in the analysis. The first main part of the chapter analyses the history, transformation and the current local public delivery arrangements in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the focus on the efficiency of the different modes of production. The final part tries to explain the main purposes behind the fact that externalisation does not deliver visible improvements.
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Introduction

Public administration reforms in Czech Republic and Slovakia started almost immediately after the ‘Velvet Revolution’ in 1989. From the beginning, decentralization was used as an important reform tool to achieve better performance from the system, bringing positive but also negative results at the same time. The municipal and regional governments are currently responsible for a comprehensive set of public services: local public services, part of the sport, leisure and tourist provisions, children’s homes, some health services, basic social services, primary and secondary education or cultural establishments. Probably the most important remaining problem, limiting the success of decentralization processes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is significant territorial fragmentation and lacking the financial and managerial capacity to successfully adopt the NPM instruments in public service delivery.

During the socialist period, the local communal public services were part of the so called ‘local economy’. The structure and size of the ‘local economy’ are characterized by Figure 1 and Table 1. Local services were delivered by national committees in accordance with uniform rules as defined by the law and financed partly from the state budget and partly from consumer fees (local enterprises, recycling bodies and housing bodies were self-financing institutions).

Figure 1.

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Table 1.
The scale of the local economy in Czechoslovakia
Indicator and Location (Czech=CSR, Slovakia=SSR)Years
1975198019851987
Local enterprises (legal bodies)CSR382229224219
SSR15210610199
In it: Local enterprises (service delivery bodies)CSR19,43517,48217,23317,484
SSR7,1817,3288,1468,050
Recycling enterprises (purchasing paper, metals, etc.)CSR1,6501,6921,8871,866
SSR324315463440
Housing bodiesCSR443160156160
SSR115595661
Organisations for local servicesCSR234213222245
SSR114136118117
Municipal own bodies for local service deliveryCSR2,0131,7251,618-
SSR253288307-
Municipal own bodies for small scale production of goodsCSR1,6891,4071,6651,769
SSR1,0478861,0501,139
Self-employed citizens delivering servicesCSR21,26513,15927,42331,487
SSR5,0223,3035,6415,902

(Kontra et al., 1989)

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