In the past two decades the agencies in Croatia have been established following a global agencification trend endorsed by international organisations and the EU through the concepts of new public management and the regulatory state.
Croatian agencies were founded without a strategic approach or legal framework, failing to incorporate elements of good governance systematically, adopting them sporadically instead. Politicization, clientelism and poor efficiency are the key problems of a disarrayed agency system, which calls their credibility into question. In order to fulfil an agency’s purpose, it is necessary to incorporate elements that ensure sufficient independence (autonomy) of the agencies, while in parallel enabling the achievement of their tasks (control).
In order to achieve that, the agencies are required to implement appropriate procedures within the corresponding legal framework, strengthen control mechanisms, including civil society organisations and their contribution to good governance.
It is necessary to create a legal framework for the establishment, organisation and functioning of the agencies that will comprise mechanisms of both independence and accountability and to evaluate their performance periodically, as well as ensure the functioning of the control mechanisms. In order to improve transparency, it is necessary to develop a database of agencies, implement consultation mechanisms and other forms of public participation and strictly implement the anti-corruption regulations.
Civil society organisations can participate in monitoring of agencies’ work in various ways, for instance through development of case studies according to a previously agreed-upon methodology.
You can read the whole study “Institutional and legal framework for good governance in Croatian agencies” here.