Järelevalve teostamine avalike teenuste lepingulisel delegeerimisel Eesti kohalikes omavalitsustes: kodanikeühenduste näitel
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This Bachelor thesis analyzes monitoring contracting out of public services to non-governmental organizations (hereafter: NGO). The relevance of this topic derives from conflicting notions regarding the importance of monitoring. Many authors (Brown and Potoski 2003a: 155; Hefetz and Warner 2004: 186) have stressed the importance of monitoring by the public sector and developing a sufficient capacity to do that when contracting out public services. However, in practice it has been found that in case of contracting out of public services, the public sector might actually be less motivated to conduct monitoring or not be able to do it. Thus, the author aims to provide an analysis regarding the role and importance of the public sector in conducting monitoring when it contracts out public services to NGOs. In particular, the focus is on local governments as contractees and non-profit associations (hereafter: NPA) as contractors in Estonia. In addition, the author seeks to assess Estonian local governments’ monitoring practices in cases of public services contracted out to NPAs. In order to meet these objectives, there are two research tasks: (a) an analysis of theoretical literature and various researches on the subject field and (b) an empirical analysis (based on content analysis of contracts signed between local governments and NPAs and qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted via telephone with the representatives of local governments) regarding monitoring practices in Estonian local governments. 13 local governments and 34 contracted services were included to the empirical analysis. It appeared that in Estonia the relationships between local governments and NPAs are mostly based on trust and this seems to reduce the relevance of monitoring in the eyes of local governments. Only in a few cases could local governments be considered to be “smart buyers“ in terms of monitoring. Mostly, however, local governments rely on a minimum programme of monitoring in order to collect the overall information regarding service provision and to show that they are not completely passive. In that, the financial control is most important. Thorough monitoring is not conducted on a regular basis and local governments seem to become more active only when problems with service provision should appear. In addition to the trustful relationships between local governments and NPAs, limited local government capacity and few resources also seem to limit the practice of thorough monitoring. It was also surprising that the usage of informal monitoring measures was very popular among Estonian local governments – this, perhaps, can be attributed to the phenomenon of small communities. In conclusion, it is relevant for the local governments to pay more attention to monitoring contracting out of public services as there are potential threats even in case of NGOs.