Monitoring Report: The Principles of Public Administration, North Macedonia 2019

This 2019 SIGMA Monitoring Report focuses on the areas of civil service and public procurement. Comprehensive assessment of all areas of public administration reform (PAR) in 2017 showed that North Macedonia’s progress in PAR has been impaired by the long-lasting political stalemate, and that both the civil service and public procurement areas needed to be improved by the new Government. This report, which follows up on the 2017 analysis and recommendations, first provides an overview of the state of play and main developments. It then presents a detailed analysis of three Principles of Public Administration in each of the civil service and public procurement areas, measured against the indicators of the Methodological Framework for the Principles of Public Administration2, and closes with key recommendations.

As SIGMA revised its Methodological Framework in 2016, indicator values are compared with the 2017 Monitoring Report. Whenever possible, however, analytical data from 2015 or earlier are presented. Although this report is part of a regional series, no regional averages are presented for the 2019 indicator values because this round of assessments was designed to perform detailed evaluations on a limited number of areas only, rather than to carry out full comparative overviews.Civil service area assessment has been facilitated by enhanced data availability, but progress in this area is limited. The recruitment system regulated by the new legislation is now operational and ensures merit-based hiring. Unfortunately, the number of candidates is too low, which shows the lack of citizen trust in the system. The top managerial positions are still filled with discretional appointments only and turnover during the assessed period was high, but the Government is working hard to create a law to enforce merit-based recruitment and dismissal for the top management positions. The disciplinary system offers weak guarantees for civil servants, and the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) has been non-operational for an extended period, pending the appointment of new members. Furthermore, most    of the public service is outside the scope of the SCPC and no other institution proactively promotes public servant integrity.

Significant progress has been made in the area of public procurement: the Parliament approved a new Law on Public Procurement (PPL) on 28 January 2019, and it entered into force on 1 April. The new PPL transposes the current EU public procurement directives and complies strongly with the acquis. Only a few issues are still problematic from the EU perspective, such as the ‘negative list’ of economic operators and a lack of equivalent provisions related to the ‘self-cleaning’ mechanism. Following the recommendations of previous SIGMA assessments, important decisions were taken to eliminate certain elements that negatively affected the efficiency of the public procurement system in the past: the Public Procurement Council has been abolished, e-auctions have become optional, and the contracting authorities are now free to choose quality related awarding criteria in accordance with their economic objectives.

SIGMA draws on multiple sources of evidence for its assessments and wishes to thank the Government for its collaboration in providing the necessary administrative data and documentation.

Focus areas for the 2019 Monitoring Report were selected jointly by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission (EC). The civil service and public procurement areas are considered particularly relevant to the country’s European Integration pathway, and are also an important aspect of policy dialogue relating to the European Reform Agenda and the EC’s overall Enlargement perspective. Although analytical findings and recommendations are addressed to the Government, they are also designed to contribute to this policy dialogue.

Document type
  • Report


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin on February 16, 2021
Modified on February 16, 2021