From (RE) - organisation to the virtual secretariat

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


The Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (IPL) is a public higher education institution, composed of several schools and other training and research units. IPL had a high degree of dispersion, with different levels of development among its units, leading to serious problems of coordination and scientific, pedagogic and administrative articulation, both internally and externally. Additionally, schools had developed, for historical and even legal reasons, towards a strongly autonomic culture, which ultimately endangered the unity of the institution as a whole, and constituted a discriminative reality for students and staff.

Facing this reality, in 2006 IPL started on its own initiative a wideranging process to reorganise its internal services in order to improve its operation, optimise the use of its human and financial resources, and provide the entire academic community with similar services and higher quality. The methodology used in the process of reorganisation of services was:

  • The creation of working groups composed of the services staff;
  • Survey and characterisation of the situations;
  • Proposal for optimisation, harmonisation and improvement of processes;
  • Proposal for the reorganisation of services.

The working groups identified the processes and applications for the whole institution; determined the sequence and interaction of processes; determined the criteria and methods needed to ensure the operation and control; and ensured the availability of resources and information necessary to support the operation and monitoring of these processes. Where it was considered necessary, techniques of analysis and trouble solving (TARP) were used, e.g. reengineering, statistic control etc.

For the implementation of the approved reorganisations, directorates of services were established at IPL central level which has at least one post service in the different schools. This way, the service and the introduction of procedures can be done anywhere within IPL, and the subjects can be sent to the department or body with the jurisdiction to deal with them. The effects of this reorganisation were to move from autonomous services to a single decentralised joint service in the different schools or campus.

In the context of strong financial and recruitment restrictions in public administration, as well as of juridical instability due to the change in the legal framework of higher education in Portugal, this process has allowed IPL to do more and better with the same resources and demonstrate that it is possible to change public institutions from the inside, overcoming bureaucratic barriers and streamlining processes by supporting them strongly with information and communication technologies.

Award info
Award category: leadership and change
Award type: submission
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Education (higher and lower), training and learning
Type of activity: new services or new technologies
Keywords: Organisational change, managing change, decentralised jointed service, training and research
Short English description: The effects of this reorganisation were to move from autonomous services to a single decentralised joint service in the different schools or campus
Further information
Organisation: Instituto Politécnico de Leiria
Other applicants:
Level of government: regional level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Portugal
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

From (RE) - organisation to the virtual secretariat (39.7443404, -8.8072495)
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