Can public policies be more efficient and economical?

September 18, 2020

When governments decide to prepare and implement public policies and regulations, which will define measures for resolving essential problems in society or use the opportunities for further enhancement of the state of affairs in different areas, they are guided by the principles of public policy management, embedded in the Law on planning system of the Republic of Serbia. Some of the key principles for adoption and implementation of public policies and regulations are related to the realism and financial sustainability of the proposed interventions, their economy and proportionality compared to the expected impacts. To respect these principles, it is crucial to clearly define the costs of public policies and regulations, their sources of funding and the overall impact on the budget.

The EU funded project “EU for public administration reform under the Sector reform contract” has supported the Public Policy Secretariat and other relevant public institutions in the implementation of the new regulatory framework for evidence-based public policy management, through development and application of practical tools, as well as through capacity building of civil servants in this area.

With this aim, the project has jointly with the Public Policy Secretariat and the Ministry of Finance developed a Manual for Costing of Policies and Regulations, which should support civil servants to define the costs of implementation of public policies and regulations in a reliable manner. The Manual guides the reader through all the steps of the costing process, with the abundance of practical examples and advice, and connects the costing of policies and regulations with the mandatory assessment of the financial impact of the laws, other regulations and other acts on the budget (PFE). The Manual is additionally enriched with the list of standard costs which can be used by the civil servants during the calculation, as well with other tools which make costing easier.

Even though the Manual is designed for civil servants in ministries and other institutions and organisations of the state administration, the concepts and methods of the calculation of costs presented in the Manual are relevant for different levels of governance and other stakeholders who participate in the development of the planning documents and regulations and manage their implementation.

This Manual is available on the website of the project and the Public Policy Secretariat website.