Public administration minister: State reform priority for government

Minister of Regional Affairs Jaak Aab (Centre).
Minister of Regional Affairs Jaak Aab (Centre). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Centre) told attorney and State Reform Foundation supervisory board member Jüri Raidla that state reform is the government's priority.

As to reforming public administration, current activities are to continue, Aab said, and a state reform plan for the next four years will be presented to the government, spokespeople for the Ministry of Finance told BNS.

"I have also met with Jüri Raidla and members of the State Reform Foundation previously, and acquainted myself with their proposals for state reform," the minister noted. "I'd like to recognize him for his dedication as well as the contributions by him and members of the foundation for reforming the state. Several of their proposals are already in the works, such as the strengthening of local governments and increasing of their decision-making powers. Regional programs in Ida-Viru County and in Southeastern Estonia have also been launched in order to foster development in these areas."

According to Aab, the new government coalition intends to continue those state reform activities that are already underway, such as the merging of public authorities and relocating state jobs away from the capital city of Tallinn.

"We will also continue decreasing the administrative burden on people, local governments and entrepreneurs by simplifying the procedures for communicating with the state and submitting reports as well as the legislative process," he continued. "The implementation of the state housing project will continue in order to render communication with the state in counties more flexible for citizens and entrepreneurs."

It is important that receiving services from the state and the local government be clear, simple and easy to understand for everyone, he stressed.

"We intend to draw up and present a bill on the general principles of the state reform to the Riigikogu, and a state reform action plan to the government," Aab said. "Updates to the state reform agreed upon in the coalition agreement will meanwhile be set out in the government's action plan. Activities already underway in the sphere of public administration will in the meantime be implemented, and work on them is ongoing."

22 reform proposals included in coalition agreement

"I am optimistic with regard to the government's plans to reform the state," Raidla said. "I am pleased to say that 22 of the proposals put forward by the State Reform Foundation have been reflected in the coalition agreement."

The supervisory board member also highlighted that preparations for the decision-making process in the Riigikogu have been initiated as well.

The 2017-2019 action plan for state reform sought to better organize public services as well as decrease bureaucracy and administrative burden.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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