Through the institute of public procurement a considerable volume of financial resources is allocated. It is therefore in the interest of contracting entities to seek ways of how to achieve an efficient allocation of resources. Some public contract-awarding entities, along with some public-administration authorities in the Czech Republic, believe that the use of a single evaluation criterion (the lowest bid price) results in a more efficient tender for a public contract. It was found that contracting entities in the Czech Republic strongly prefer to use the lowest bid price criterion. Within the examined sample, 86.5 % of public procurements were evaluated this way. The analysis of the examined sample of public contracts proved that the choice of an evaluation criterion, even the preference of the lowest bid price criterion, does not have any obvious impact on the final cost of a public contract. The study concludes that it is inappropriate to prefer the criterion of the lowest bid price within the evaluation of public contracts that are characterised by their complexity (including public contracts for construction works and public service contracts). The findings of the Supreme Audit Office related to the inspection of public contracts indicate that when using the lowest bid price as an evaluation criterion, a public contract may indeed be tendered with the lowest bid price, but not necessarily the best offer in terms of supplied quality. It is therefore not appropriate to use the lowest bid price evaluation criterion to such an extent for the purpose of evaluating work and services. Any improvement to this situation requires a corresponding amendment to the Law on Public Contracts and mainly a radical change in the attitude of the Office for the Protection of Competition towards proposed changes, as indicated within the conclusions and recommendations proposed by this study.
Arnošt Veselý, František Ochrana and Martin Nekola
The role of evidence in policy-making is one of the most researched topics in public policy and public administration. However, surprisingly little research has been done on how public officials actually use evidence in everyday life practice. Moreover, these studies have been limited to countries that have been influenced by the evidence-based policy movement (EBP). Little is known about how the evidence is conceptualized and utilized in other countries which have not been so strongly influenced by EBP movement. This paper addresses this gap. Using a large-N survey on the Czech ministerial officials and in-depth interviews with them, we explore what is understood under the term of “evidence”, what kind of evidence is used and preferred by public officials and why. In doing so, we use four theoretical perspectives on the use of evidence. We show that despite the long-established tradition of using research in policy-making the importance of research evidence in the Czech Republic is far from being taken for granted. On the contrary, the immediate and personal experience is often preferred over the research findings. The exception to that are census-like statistical data and comparative data published by international organizations. We find some support for the two-communities metaphor, though these communities are not defined by their socio-demographic characteristics, but rather by their internal discourse and understanding of evidence.
The first part of this article surveys the current experience with the use of benchmarking at Czech universities specializing in economics and management. The results indicate that collaborative benchmarking is not used on this level today, but most actors show some interest in its introduction. The expression of the need for it and the importance of benchmarking as a very suitable performance-management tool in less developed countries are the impetus for the second part of our article. Based on an analysis of the current situation and existing needs in the Czech Republic, as well as on a comparison with international experience, recommendations for public policy are made, which lie in the design of a model of a collaborative benchmarking for Czech economics and management in higher-education programs. Because the fully complex model cannot be implemented immediately – which is also confirmed by structured interviews with academics who have practical experience with benchmarking –, the final model is designed as a multi-stage model. This approach helps eliminate major barriers to the implementation of benchmarking.
František Ochrana, Michal Plaček and Milan Jan Půček
The article analyses the problems of strategic governance and strategic management of the Czechoslovak Government, as well as the Government of the Czech Republic in the years 1989-2016. It seeks the causes and factors that have caused the low levels of strategic governance and strategic management at the level of the ministries of the Czech Republic. It examines the problem from genetic and historical perspective, and from the organizational and human capacity to exercise strategic governance. The study is based on two pieces of empirical research within the ministries of the Czech Republic. It identifies the main cause of failure of strategic governance and strategic management at the level of the central government of the Czech Republic. These include, in particular, the persistent distrust of the ideas of strategic governance and strategic management held by the right-wing governments and the generally low capacity of governments of the Czech Republic to engage in strategic governance. The organizational structure of the central state administration lacks the strategic units that generate ideas for supporting strategic governance. The empirical research of the ministries of the Czech Republic also revealed that policy workers in Czech ministries dedicate a large proportion of their work time to operational and administrative activities at the expense of analytical and strategic activities. The changes require implementation of reforms within the public administration, which (among other things) will eliminate the existing causes and inhibiting factors regarding the lack of strategic governance in the Czech Republic.
Michal Plaček, František Ochrana, Martin Schmidt and Milan Půček
Our study offers additional insight into the Office for Protection of Competition. It examines the Office for Protection of Competition in terms of an input-process-output model, defines the inputs needed for its activities and examines the outputs of its control activities. It also identifies external factors (in the environment) that affect the performance and behavior of the Office for Protection of Competition and have an impact on inspection activities. The theoretical background as well as assumptions are then subjected to empirical scrutiny. Theoretical conclusions and recommendations for more effective control of public contracts are drawn from the conclusions which are established.
David Koppitz, Milan Půček, František Ochrana and Michal Plaček
The paper aims to carry out a comparative analysis of heating of school facilities under the administration of municipalities in Macedonia, Moldova and Kosovo and to test the factors that affect the heating costs of school facilities. For a definition of the theoretical fundament parts of the theory of fiscal federalism are used. Subsequently five hypotheses are put forward that are verified using the method of benchmarking. The theoretical conclusions and recommendations may be used for a more effective implementation of public policies within the surveyed countries.
Michal Plaček, František Ochrana, Milan Půček and Milan Křápek
This study tests whether decentralized leadership influences the efficiency of running selected cultural institutions, specifically museums in the Czech Republic. For the analysis, data from 2015 from 187 museums spread around the whole Czech Republic are used. The method for the evaluation of efficiency is data envelope analysis, and for identifying the influence of decentralized leadership, a regression analysis is used. Museums established by municipalities reach higher efficiency than museums established by regions and central government. The causes may be found in the ability to better estimate the local demand as well as in the rational behavior of municipalities that prefer a cost-minimization strategy. The benefits of decentralization cannot be seen only in the field of finance but also in reinforcing local traditions, trust and the effects of social capital that is generated by a strong regional cultural identity.
The article examines the section of officials in the central administration who belong to the ministerial staff of the Czech Republic. It examines those persons engaged in the creation of analyses, strategies, and management activities. The study is based on original research conducted by the ministries of the Czech Republic in 2013 (N = 1351). The article seeks to discover what the make-up of this group is in terms of gender, age, and education levels at the chosen ministries, as well as to report on the types of experiences the group has had. The analysis shows that ministerial officials are in fact a gender-balanced group of employees, predominately university-educated. The overall median age of employees in all ministries is 42 years. On the other hand, there are certain inter-ministerial differences, as explained in detail in this paper. Based on results of the empirical research, conclusions have been drawn that may also serve as an inspiration for similar investigations in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe that address similar issues as found in the Czech Republic.