Mission (im) possible!
This text expresses TUFEMI’s position on the mechanism and process of reforming the Ministry of Interior and that of representatives of civil society participated in the survey, work meetings, trainings and consultations.
WE STARTED THE CHANGE WITH AN ANALYSE AND MANY QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERS YET WE SEEK!
* Each time you use the word "reform" in this text, it should be understand as the need for long-term reform with 10-15 years horizon of realization. This text expresses TUFEMI’s position on the mechanism and process of reforming the Ministry of Interior and that of representatives of civil society participated in the survey, work meetings, trainings and consultations.
Citizen participation in MI: Mission (im) possible!
The main issue which united representatives of trade unions, professional organizations and NGOs in terms of public order and security, is that the "security" service provided to citizens, is not effective and does not meet their needs. The discussion about the parameters and expectations of what should the service be has not taken place - as citizens, and with trade unions and professional organizations. Reasons for the lack of discussion about MoI are many but the main ones are:
• The concept of about MoI’s functions has been changed with every new government;
• The system is closed and does not create real opportunities for citizen participation in decision-making, and the citizens are not motivated to participate, because their knowledge and ideas of MoI are often based on myths and prejudices that are inherited in each generation;
• Representatives of political and professional leadership in the Ministry of Interior, who take MoI as an institution of power, whose part is to ensure public order and security, often are overweening to citizens even arrogant sometimes. In many of the decisions taken, we can see and demonstrated elitism to the citizens, as the Government officials they do not understand the real problems of the institution, do not know the system and therefore they are not allowed to tell to MoI what security is and how it can be guaranteed.
That is why the police system becomes more rigid, more encapsulated and sacrifice more cruel its employees. This is happening on a background of permanent reduction of the quality of "security" service and increased number of unsatisfied from the MoI’s work citizens to whom is said they are complaining are reasonless and exist only because they do not understand "the complex matter of security."
Rigidity of the system is due to many reasons, some of which are:
1. MoI is an institution which implements functions for prevention and combat all types of crimes, guarantees public order, protects national security, ensures border control, regulates migration processes, protects financial interests of the European Union, works on fire safety and protection of the population etc. Most of the activities require the classification of information, which in itself is associated with limited access of nongovernmental organizations in the preparation and implementation of programming documents. The need access to the information to be limited is understandable, but it is used as a reason the institution to be closed for citizens’ monitoring of the overall policy of the Ministry. Under the pretext that certain policies, decisions and actions are classified, most of the structures of civil society are isolated, the motivation for participation is decreased and form attitudes in people that to be MoI monitored evaluated requires specific expertise that only certain people possess. Thus the majority of the representatives of civil society are deliberately isolated and a range of non-governmental organizations and experts who have proven experience and expertise are allowed to participate in policies’ development, but these experts and NGOs are not actively working with the civil society and thus their proposals the vision for reform and expertise to be changed reach a very small group of people.
2. The lack of accessible information, creates conditions for speculation as to the number of employees in the Ministry of Interior, the method for spending of MoI’s budget and it makes possible changes in MoI to be realized which are satisfying certain political parties. Reporting documents published on the website of the Ministry of Interior and promoted in the media are prepared and present information in an incomprehensible way. These documents are published, but not "translated" in plain language to encourage the expression of citizenship and shared expectations of what service the citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria want to receive. This is why the citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria have no real need to participate in the preparation of proposals for changes in the Ministry. On one hand, due to the above reasons, but also arise from the deliberate release of a certain narrow range of experts in the process of information and consultation.
3. The politicization of the system is one of the main reasons for the lack of action the Ministry of Interior to be opened to the citizens. Because of its nature and function as structure of power and authority the resources are used and maintenance of political and party interests and protection of certain persons / data from a study of the factors causing stress, conducted in 2013. /. The politicization of the system changes the vision of the function and role of the Ministry of Interior - by structure that should provide the "security", it becomes a structure that supports / sometimes at the cost of repression / achievement of certain political priorities. The politicization of the system contributes to the lack of vision for the development and reform of the Ministry of Interior, as the planning horizon is within mandate of the governing political party/coalition. MoI reform requires both talking about the effects of reform on employees and preparation of tools to assess the quality and effectiveness of the service and the citizens’ satisfaction, which in turn requires the participation of civil society organizations in monitoring and evaluation process. The lack of vision for the development and reform in MoI becomes both employees and citizens hostages and victims of political programs.
4. Failure of the successful model of institutionalized participation of citizens in reforming the Ministry of Interior. The presence of such a model will allow external evaluation of the satisfaction of the citizens from the "security" service, it will allow a debate on the necessary reforms and means for their realization to be conducted, it will give publicity to proposed policies and will seek an agreement and unification of legislative, executive government, civic, professional and trade union organizations.
5. Understanding the MoI reform by restructuring and renaming cuts, not as increased efficiency, transparency and ensured decent working conditions for employees. There are currently no understanding at the political level that before starting the process of change is necessary to make an assessment about how much it will cost in terms of the service that MoI delivers. When politicians’ are talking about reform, they usually mean and make a drastic reduction in the number of employees in the Ministry of Interior, without considering the fact that the cuts will burden the welfare system, will increase unemployment and risks certain units and structures MoI to become unable to operate. The mathematical approach and the mechanical contraction of the people is one of the most sinful and destructive reform models as the effect of these cuts is measured only by savings in MoI and reduction of the state, but does not account for the additional load of the other employees in the department, inability to perform her/his obligations due to over-load, ie quality and efficiency of work. This mathematical approach to reduce the numerical strength of the basic structures of the ministry, but it reduces an efficiency in performing the functions of the Ministry. Such an understanding of the reform is a reason for the crisis in MoI, creates conditions for reduction of the effectiveness of the Ministry and increasing citizens' dissatisfaction with the service that is provided.
The failed reform
Ministry of Interior is the only unreformed Ministry in Bulgaria, but also one of the ministries in which structural changes are the most numerous. One of the major structural changes that contribute the MoI to become a mega-ministry is the closure of Ministry of Emergency Situations and merger it with the MoI /29.07.2009 /. This change is one of the main reasons the scope and functions of the police to be expanded and the number of the employees to be increased as well. The functions for civil protection as nonspecific for MoI, took a very large financial, human and time resources for establishment of a model which ensures that mechanically merged with the Ministry of Interior structures will begin to function as part of the whole Ministry. The stress of merge, which endured as officials closed the MES and MoI, the lack of clear rules of interaction, changed principles of operation and interaction between institutions is extremely large. Shortly before the "merger" of officials from the MES, the MoI- in 2007, was "released" from the National service "Security" and the "protection of the means of communication" and a State Agency "National Security" was established. As a result of structural changes to 2009., the number of MoI’s employees is nearly 68 000 people.
In the period 2009-2014 structural changes continued. In 2013, from the the structure of the Ministry of Interior were removed General Directorate "Combating Organized Crime"/CDCOC/ and Specialized and the "Operational technical operations"/SDOTO/. CDCOC became part of National agency “Security” and SDOTO became the State Agency "Technical Operations" to Council of Ministers. Alongside these structural changes, the names of regional units and departments were changed many times and the number of employees continued the trend for reduction and in 2014 employees in MoI was 49 500.
All these changes were made without the participation of citizens, without an assessment of their impact on the quality of services delivered by the Ministry of Interior, and especially without an assessment of their impact on the employees. This long-standing practice is one of the reasons MoI to become the (auto) oppressive, suspicious, dehumanized, formal and disengagement institution in which the prospect of long-term reform and involving citizens in its implementation is assessed as a threat that must be limited, not as an option which should be used.
How MoI must look like in 15 years?
MoI officers and representatives of civil society participated in the process of identification of approaches came to a basic conclusion: before a vision and develop a strategy for long-term reform to be created it is necessarily a broad public discussion with representatives of NGOs, professional and trade union organizations to be conducted.
MoI 2030 - one point of view and one possible approach:
The one approach to reform of the Ministry of Interior if we are not thinking about structural change is to consider the reform as a desired effect on the staff, to identify necessary organizational change to ensure a high quality of service "security" and to ensure better and more efficient service to citizens. In this case, it is necessary to apply a tactical approach, which is based on a pre-identified problems, which need to be solved. If this approach to reform is selected, it is necessary the measures in 2030 to ensure the achievement of the following results:
To the citizens of Republic of Bulgaria:
• Achieved satisfaction with the "security" and defined parameters and indicators measuring the quality at all levels of the Ministry.
• Developed a clear plan and certain approaches to enhancing the quality of the "security" that before adoption are discussed with the citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria.
• Increased public confidence in the Ministry.
• Created a mechanism that allows the participation of citizens in decision-making.
• Facilitated communication between citizens and officials in the Ministry of Interior.
• Simplified administrative procedures and reduced the time for the issuance of documents.
• Respect for human rights and dignity.
Improved interaction between MI and institutions from other key sectors such as health facilities, social services, prosecution and court to establish a new approach and allow the application of the principle of "case management". This approach will reduce the time limits for citizens and increase the effectiveness of the "security".
To the employees:
• Updated and properly changed working categories according to the type of action being performed.
• Provided additional compensation for employees who work in hazardous environments and distinct social packages according to type of work that is due.
• Prepared and complied with clear criteria the recruiting and training of employees’ process, provided equipment, supplies and a clear mechanism for further trainings and preparation.
• Clearly defined powers of employees in different departments created redress mechanisms and eradicated the presumption of guilt of the employees.
• Created and implemented a mechanism to provide psychological support, prevention and reduction of occupational stress, supervision and mentoring program that allows employees who cannot work in the field and / or are retired, to share their experience.
• Changed the principle of functioning of trade unions in MoI - secured funding / target and project / activity of trade unions provided functional immunity for union leaders and established a mechanism for elections to validate unions that represent employees in the Council on Social partnership.
• Improved image of the employees in the Ministry of Interior and increased public confidence.
• Increased motivation and job satisfaction of employees in the Ministry of Interior.
To the system:
• Completed reform and centralized / decentralized system
• Created mechanism for the selection of senior management positions at local, regional and national level, based on the concepts of development and not on political affiliation.
• Provided logistical security of employees for smooth implementation of their professional duties.
• Created and institutionalized mechanism for civil monitoring of the activity of the Ministry of Interior and change policy and programming documents in consultation with the relevant authority / Public Board /.
• Ensured the practical application of the principles of openness, transparency and accountability of the system.
• Clearly defined and detailed functions of MoI and each employee.
• Provided finances covering the overall activities of the Ministry.
• Created a system of electronic services and reduced the volume of paper used.
• The press office of the Interior Ministry started to work on the employees’ image, not the political leadership.
Ministry of Interior in 2030 - Another point of view and the second possible approach:
The second possible approach that was identified is strategic and it is connected with the union about the role and functions that MoI have to implement and is based on the assumption that the main function of the Ministry of Interior and the main objective of the Police department is to protect public order and internal Security. If starting from this understanding, it is necessary when talking about reform and the vision of the Ministry of Interior in 2030, to achieve the following results:
1. Finalized administrative reform, increased quality and efficiency of the system in relation to the service which is provided. Necessary is when the reforming the Ministry of Interior is discussing in this regard, outsourcing of part of the activities of the Ministry of Interior to other ministries to be planned, government agencies such as differentiation / Main Directorate "Fire Safety and Protection of Population" / or decentralization and moving part activities to municipalities / Control of road transport and Bulgarian identity documents /. In parallel, administrative reform should provide re-categorization and specific policies to compensate employees with different powers. In parallel, administrative reform should provide re-categorization and specific policiesin order to compensate employees with different responsibilities.
2. Centralized / decentralized structure and clearly defined powers and mechanisms for quality control of the execution of their commitments.
3. Secured system to the material provision of employees increased the selection criteria, qualification and training of employees ensured.
4. Established mechanisms for combating and preventing crime and especially - everyday crime.
5. The practical application of the principles of equality and ensured protection of both employees and citizens.
6. Created a tool for independent and democratic control / institutional / monitoring / Civil / of the Ministry of Interior’s activities and the effectiveness of decisions.
How we see the participation of civil and professional organizations in reforming the Ministry of Interior?
The most important element of the whole process is institutionalized of forms and procedures for citizen participation in reforming the Ministry of Interior. The second crucial component is uniting around the need to prepare a long-term strategy to reform the Ministry of Interior, to be adopted as the Ministry of Interior and civil society organizations and the trade unions.
1. Institutionalization of the forms and procedures for citizen participation in reforming the Ministry of Interior
One of the biggest challenges is how to institutionalize citizen participation, without making structure cumbersome and inefficient. It is therefore necessary to set up an informal group of representatives of NGOs and professional organizations to clarify the parameters of functioning mechanisms for involving citizens and procedures for consultation with government representatives. In this period of advance planning is necessary activities and measures on the one hand to be provided to explore the expectations of citizens for the "security" and to hold public consultations and to what extent the Ministry of Interior can be reformed so that to meet public expectations. It is in the process of preparation and to provide mechanisms through which citizens can participate actively in the process of monitoring the activities of the Ministry of Interior and in making recommendations for improvement. In addition the components of active and broad citizen participation are necessary to provide institutionalized form of citizenship and have the necessary expertise. Therefore, it is necessary to attract two types of organizations: organizations with expertise on the topic "security", MoI, civic participation and preparation of program documents, as well as organizations that have access to a wide range of citizens. This format will provide on the one hand the necessary expertise will enable the realization of activities on informing and consulting the public and will fill with meaning and content activities institutionalized form of citizenship.
One of the issues that should be discussed is whether such an institutionalized structure is better to be the Council of Ministers or the Ministry of Interior.
The reasons for this to be to the Ministry of Interior are related to the specifics of the activity of this structure, which requires consultation and debate on specific issues relating efficiency of the institution and the quality of provided service "security". The functioning of institutionalized form of civic participation to the Interior Ministry will provide direct access and opportunity to work with experts of various departments in the Ministry, which will make the process more operational and flexible.
The arguments in favor of the institutionalization of such a structure to the Council of Ministers /CM/ are more - on the one hand, they are related to the need for reform vision and long-term development strategy of the Ministry of Interior be approved and confirmed by representatives of various ministries and agencies whose activities and policies will be directly or indirectly affected by the implementation of the reform in the Ministry. On the other hand, the constitution of this body to the Council of Ministers will ensure its independence from the Ministry of Interior. Representatives of other departments with rank minister or deputy minister, will facilitate the process of adopting the proposals at the level of CM and ensure the adoption of most of the recommendations of this authority. In the long term, the creation of such a structure to CM will allow expanding the scope of activity, interpretation of the "security" in much broader and synchronize visions for development and reform of the judiciary and defense.
2. Merging around the need to prepare a long-term strategy and unified vision of the Ministry of Interior
Before proceeding with the preparation of long-term strategy the civic and professional organizations, and the representatives of legislative and executive power need to unite around a common vision for the Interior Ministry in the long run. The preparation of a common vision is associated with both study of the attitudes of the public and lobbying and consultations with government officials. The main issues that need to be discussed and be reached a consensual decision, before starting preparation of the strategy are:
1. What are the structural changes that need to be implemented? What are the points that need to come out of the Ministry of Interior /MI/ and to which ministries and agencies will be transferred? How to ensure the protection of the rights of employees and compliance with the agreement, which they have concluded when they started to work in the Ministry. What happens to links as the Academy of Ministry of Interior, The Institute of Psychology of Ministry of Interior and others ?
2. Whether the direction of the reform will be decentralization or centralization? In case of decentralization, how to improve the qualification of the teams that will manage the structures on local and regional level? How to realize subsequent control and prevent corruption? How will the same quality of the provided service “security” in the whole country be ensured.
3. How to reduce the political influence in the work of Ministry of Interior? Could chiefs of police stations and / or directors of regional management of Ministry of Interior be elected together with the candidates for mayors in the case of reform towards decentralization? What are the mechanisms in case of decentralization that will allow debate on level of concepts of development and ensure transparency and fairness in the election / appointment? How limited political "purges" and the expiry of qualified personnel of the Interior Ministry?
4. What are the mechanisms and models that will enable active aging employees? How will the principles of lifelong learning be introduce? How to ensure continuity between employees?
5. What is the extent of "opening" of the Ministry of Interior for citizens and what are the specific actions that need to be taken? What are the topics on which information is characterized as classified and how stakeholders can rally around this decision?
6. How to overcome the accumulated prejudices and stereotypes regarding employees in MI? How to debunk the myths and what are the organizations and / or institutions that need to do it? What is the communication strategy, which is necessary to prepare and what are the main priorities?
7. Which are the organizations and institutions that work with children and young people and develop their active citizenship and legal culture in the interaction with the Ministry of Interior? How to combine principles of formal and informal education?
8. How Ministry of Interior interacts with other institutions at the level of delivery of service "security" and how this interaction can be improved? What tools need to be implemented and how to measure their effect?
Why it is necessary and important in the whole process of reforming trade unions to participate?
Reforms that are realized at the time, as mentioned, are parceled and ineffective. Reforms in the Ministry of Interior needs to be long-term, have consulted with civil and professional organizations, to explain the effect of a change in the life of every citizen and employee in the Ministry of Interior, and are tailored to the needs of the citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria.
One of the most important reasons for the need for the involvement of trade unions in this process is the fact that reforming and optimizing the operation of each system is associated with a reduction in the number of employees and reduction of social rights. The main role of trade unions is the reform and streamlining of the activities of the Ministry of Interior does not happen at the expense of employees who are victims of realized until parceled and inefficient structural changes. Namely the trade unions are the ones who will make their contribution to the smooth transition and change in the way the Ministry of Interior, with regard to employees. On the other hand the trade union organizations will be those who will consult in advance the reform proposals will propose the adoption of programs for alternative employment for redundant workers and can take up a large part of the work of retraining, together with non-government organisations. Last but not least, the trade unions will have the responsibility to inform and "exhausting" incurred tension among employees.
At present, there is no clear definition of the scope of the "Security", the formation of the main components and mechanism of interaction between the institutions which are responsible for the quality of this service. Common understanding of 'security' to prevent external aggression and maintain public order in the country, thus ensuring its usually identified with some of the functions of the state. In other words, the creation and maintenance of security can be defined as a common public good, service that is used by all and for it is characteristic absence of competition in consumption, which is why its implementation is financed with part of the taxes of the population (budget of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence). Moreover, her negatives of all the non-market sector - inability to accurately measure received and paid, the absence of competition, hence comparability and choice, and presumably low efficiency. Meanwhile, the "National Security Strategy" of the Republic of Bulgaria refers to "adapt to the changing security environment" which "imposes new prioritization of security policy, the inclusion of overall institutional potential of society, applying new forms of interaction between the state, business and NGOs, such as public-private partnership. "
"Extending of the social scope of the security policy poses new challenges for institutional coordination horizontal and vertical hierarchical relations management. Planned pooling of resources of the security sector and change the definition of the "security" requires taking concrete action not only by individual institutions and structures of civil society, but also of every citizen, which is one of the largest chalenges- citizens to realize that the quality of the "security" is defined by their action or inaction.
To be the "security" adequate to the needs and expectations of citizens is first necessary to identify their expectations and understanding of what constitutes the "security" - something which, although developed strategies and other program documents in this field is not made. Lack of clarity about the expectations of citizens, creating the basic prerequisite for overall dissatisfaction with the "security" as:
1. Their expectations are at variance with the vision and actions of individual institutions.
2. The institutions expect active participation of citizens and civil monitoring on quality of service, expect proposals for improving the quality and, while the citizens themselves do not find your place as a country, as it does not understand the scope of the "security".
3. Subject to the general dissatisfaction of citizens with the quality of service "security" are employees of the Interior Ministry, because the definition of the "security" is not promoted and they are the only recognizable as a party in this process and bear all the negatives and civil frustration - both professional and political leadership and citizens, which poses a risk to public order and security.
Security as defined in the National Security Strategy is a broad and public order and security are only one of it’s components.
The main priorities of the National Security Strategy and defined as vital interests are: • ensuring the rights, freedoms, security and welfare of the citizens, society and the state;
• protection of the constitutional order and democratic values;
• preservation and development of national identity, building on the basis of a united nationality;
• ensuring the integrity of the Bulgarian civil society;
• overcoming the negative demographic processes, the significant disparities in regional development and construction of socio-economic environment, providing conditions for the development of generations of Bulgarian citizens, able to ensure the Republic of Bulgaria deserved place in the EU and global political, economic, financial and social processes.
• favorable and predictable security environment;
• ensuring energy security by diversifying the types of energy sources and routes of supply of energy and other strategic raw materials;
• development of education, training, science and applied research activities in the spirit of national and common European values;
• ensuring economic, financial and social stability and economic prosperity;
• preventing and combating corruption and organized crime;
• limitation of offenses against person and property;
• maintaining high quality of the environment and natural resources.
So formulated priorities cover all socio-economic sectors and require coordinated and common efforts of all countries to promote the "security", quality and possibilities for its optimization and implementation of subsequent monitoring and control by its users.
It is essential that the institutions and their structural units, the civil society and citizens to begin to act as integrated components of the national security system. To begin this process is necessary before this dialogue to take place and create a partnership between civil society organizations, the private sector, state and local institutions what suggests the "security" and how it can improve its quality.
* (Parter. FR Ground - on the ground) - a term used in various types of combat, which means struggle, when one of the fighters is in the supine position (on side, back, chest), knees, is a bridge or semi- bridge position. Position on earth can be further classified as high ground (lap) and low ground (lying).