Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

BRIEF

Setting Up Shared Services for Bulgaria's Central Administration

May 2, 2017


Image

The World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Tony Thompson, and the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds in the Caretaker Government of Bulgaria, Malina Kroumova, signing the reimbursable advisory service agreement.

 

Courtesy of Bulgarian Council of Ministers

The Government of Bulgaria and the World Bank have agreed to set up an organizational model to introduce a ‘shared services’ model for the country - allowing business operations to be consolidated under “one roof" and making these services available to other agencies. This cost-sharing initiative is designed to help the government focus more on key priorities, while simultaneously saving money.

A reimbursable advisory service agreement was signed between Malina Kroumova, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds in the Caretaker Government, and Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. A World Bank team of experts is expected to assess the feasibility of two different approaches for providing shared services for document management systems, human resources, financial management and accounting, and information technologies.

The first option is to ensure coordination and interaction between different administrative bodies, either functioning within one ministry or across several. Under this model, units would be created to provide shared services to participating administrations.

The second approach envisages a centralized provision of shared services for the entire public administration. This approach would require the creation of single, centralized units serving all other administrative structures, as well as introducing a robust information management system.

Under the two-year agreement, signed on May 2, 2017, the World Bank will review at least five international good practices and existing models for organizing general administrative activities - including shared services units in other European Union (EU) member states.


Image

The World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Tony Thompson, and the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds in the Caretaker Government of Bulgaria, Malina Kroumova.

Courtesy of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers

As similar reforms have been undertaken in a number of EU countries, Bulgaria stands to learn from their experience introducing shared services to enhance the efficiency of the organizational model under consideration. Following an analysis of best practices, two workshops will be organized to bring together experts and practitioners with experience in these reforms.

The agreement provides for World Bank support in piloting the chosen model in at least two centralized units or structures. The Bank will also provide ideas for developing base-line indicators and performance evaluation mechanisms.

“Bulgaria has a well-established cohort of state administration agencies, with strong technical experts on many levels. More streamlined efforts to strengthen human resources, accounting, and IT management would allow the government to focus its efforts on implementing the policy agenda, while modernizing the administration and creating savings,” said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. 

"Modernization has become a critical path for governments seeking to improve the way they provide services to citizens, enhance government operations, and strengthen cybersecurity.”

Under the agreement, which needs parliamentary ratification to take effect, the World Bank will prepare an assessment of government property management and will provide ideas on how to improve the management of 115 government-owned facilities. This analytical work, undertaken by the World Bank, will be the property of the Bulgarian government.