The Bulgarian Institute of Public Administration (IPA) was established in 2000 as part of administrative reform in the context of forthcoming EU accession. Hence, the institution’s ’original title was Institute of Public Administration and European Integration (IPAEI). Throughout the negotiation process and following Bulgaria’s successful accession, IPA has been instrumental in facilitating the development of public administration in Bulgaria. Through three key streams; training, research and consultancy, the institution has successfully modernized public administration, bringing it up to date and capable of working in the conditions of real EU membership. In 2007, it was renamed the Institute of Public Administration (IPA).
The Institute was established and functions under the Civil Servants Act and serves as an institution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The IPA is a national state institution providing centralized trainings for civil servants from all levels (central, regional and local) of public administration in Bulgaria. IPA’s staff covers 28 employees, the majority of whom are training managers, responsible for designing, planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating training programmes for civil servants across all different fields. The Institute has agreements with over 100 training providers from public and private sectors, including experts and specialists on a plethora of topics relevant to administration and management.
The Institute has a successful 18-year history of developing its capacity and increased role in public administration development. The Institute’s foundation and capacity building is supported by the Bulgarian government, state budget and various international projects.
IPA is dedicated to developing a modern, effective, citizen-oriented system of public administration, capable of working in the conditions of real EU membership. In fulfilling this mission, IPA works along three main streams: Training, Research and Consultancy. The main focus is on the training activities, which are complemented and enriched by applied research and consultancy missions in the field of public administration.
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.
IPA’s Training Programmes
IPA offers training programs in two core streams: Compulsory Training - for Career Development, and Specialized Training - for Professional Development.
· Compulsory Training (orientation to civil service/management positions) aims to equip civil servants with the common administrative skills and leadership knowledge required for effective performance in the public service. This training is split into 2 core training programmes:
- Introduction to Civil Service Course (for newcomers in public administration)
- The Challenge of Managing (for employees appointed the first time to a managerial position)
· Specialized Training (for professional development) includes a variety of specialized programs and courses across relevant fields and topics of interest for public officials. Senior civil servants are obliged to select one specific area for their professional development each year. In this training portfolio, IPA has 8 major training programmes covering approximately 100 training courses as follows:
- Efficient Leader and Management Practices
- Public Policies
- Law Making and Enforcement
- EU Structural and Investment Funds
- E-governance and Cybersecurity
- Regional and Local Governance
- Foreign Language Training
- E-learning Modules
The Institute also organizes tailor-made trainings according to the specific training needs of administrative units.
IPA also cooperates with Sofia University to provide 2 postgraduate programs:
· Impact Assessment
· EU Structural and Investment Funds
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. Annually, IPA is implementing more than 500 training courses in which roughly 10 000-12 000 public administration’ employees are trained.