The Bulgarian Institute of Public Administration (IPA)
The Bulgarian Institute of Public Administration (IPA)was established in 2000 as part of administrative reform in the context of forthcoming EU accession. Therefore the original name was Institute of Public Administration and European Integration (IPAEI). During Bulgarian negotiation process IPA played an important role in public administration training and preparation for the EU membership. In 2007 it was renamed toInstitute of Public Administration (IPA).
The Institute has a status of an Executive Agency under the government - Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. The key legal acts for its creation and functioning are Civil Servants Act and 82 Decree of the Council of Ministers.
The Institute has a successful 15-year history and experience in developing its capacity and increasing its role in public administration development. The Institute’s foundation and capacity building are supported by the Bulgarian government, state budget and various international projects.
The IPA is a national state institution with the mission to provide centralized trainings for the civil servants from all levels (central, regional and local) of public administration in Bulgaria. Currently IPA’s staff covers 28 employees. A lot of them are training managers, responsible for designing, planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating training programmes for civil servants in different fields. The Institute has agreements with more than 100 training providers from public and private sectors, experts and specialists on different topics.
The mission of the Institute is focused on increasing the professional skills and qualifications of civil servants through trainings in order to develop a modern, effective and citizen-oriented system of public administration, capable to work in the conditions of real EU membership.
The IPA’s key functions include: contributing to the professional development and career promotion of public administration employees; planning and performing public administration training needs analysis in order to provide adequate trainings; playing a major role in the process of research, development, promotion and transfer of innovations and practices of “good governance” for modernizing the administration; increasing the capabilities of the administration to develop and implement projects in the framework of EU funds; providing assistance in implementing quality management systems in the administration; providing consultation services for better decision making in the public administration activities; formulating proposals for reforms and changes in the work of the public administration.
In fulfilling its mission IPA works along three main lines: Training, Research and Consultancy. The training activities are complemented and enriched by applied research and consultancy mission in the field of public administration.
IPA offers training programs in two main streams: Compulsory Training - for Career Development and Specialized Training - for Professional Development.
The training for Career Development (compulsory training) pursues the formation of common administrative and leadership knowledge and skills, needed for the effective performance of the public service. The compulsory training is centrally financed by the state budget via a fund. In this training portfolio IPA has 3 main training programs:
· Introduction to Civil Service Course (for newcomers in public administration)
· New manager: The challenge to govern (for employees appointed for the first time at a managerial position)
· Good Governance Leadership (for high level civil servants)
The training for professional development includes a variety of specialized programs and courses across different fields and topics of interest of the public officials. In this training portfolio IPA has 8 major training programmes which cover about 100 training courses as follows:
· Good Governance/Public Management
· Public Policies and Legal Regulations
· Effectiveness of Budgetary Decisions
· EU Program/Bulgaria in EU
· Local Self Government (specialized training program for local administration which covers 10 training courses)
· General Competences/Computer skills
· General Competences/Foreign Languages Training
The Institute also organizes tailor-made trainings according to the specific training needs of the administrative units.
In addition to the different training programs and courses, IPA organizes conferences, professional annual meeting and annual competitions on topical issues of public administration.
The Bulgarian civil servants have a great interest in IPA’s trainings. In 2014 IPA implemented more than 1000 trainings where about 21 000 public administration’ employeeshave been trained.
IPA’s co-operation with Bulgarian and International Institutions:
IPA works in a close partnership with the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria and with the National Body of Operational Program “Good Governance in Public Administration”, funded by the European Structural Funds.
IPA is part of the network of European Institutes of Public Administration. The Institute has developed a successful cooperation with some European training institutions. Agreements for cooperation and sharing experiences have been signed with the:
• European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht, the Netherland
• École nationale d'administration (ENA), France
• Institute of Public Administration of Ireland
In partnership with these institutions, IPA is organizing benchmarking events between Bulgarian and European specialized units and institutes in order to share experience in training civil servants for a good management and performance, as well as to develop some research.
During the years the Institute has developed, implemented and participated in a various international projects and programmes.