Prof. Dr. Josef Konrad Rogosch: Application-oriented research in public administration connecting citizens, policy-makers and business

In 1975, Schleswig-Holstein founded a Fachhochschule für Verwaltung und Dienstleistung (FHVD – University of Applied Sciences for administration and service). The general administration, police, pension insurance and tax ­administration departments are all part of the FHVD. Over the years, legislators have added to the FHVD’s list of tasks, particularly adding applied research tasks and consultation activities for public administration and other service ­providers. These tasks are mainly fulfilled through events, projects and publications.

Events. The university days of the FHVD are worth mentioning here, as they have treated current problems and developments in public administration over the years and are of interest to citizens as well as policy-­makers, administration and business. The cross-departmental inaugural event, held on 30 January 2014 in the new “The FHVD in dialogue” format, focused on the topic of “UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities – Consequences for Administration”. The State Commissioner for Disabled Persons, Professor Ulrich Hase, painted a vivid picture of the legal consequences entailed by the UN convention after its implementation into German Federal Law.

On 24 and 25 September 2014, the university days were once again held with the objective of increasing awareness about key qualifications for interacting with handicapped persons, particularly at universities and in administration. To this end, the FHVD collaborated with the Stiftung Drachen­­­see, the inklusive Bildung project, the Lebenshilfe Landes­­verband Schleswig-Holstein e.V., Lebenshilfe Altenholz and the WIR group as well as facilities of the Nord­­deutsche Gesell­schaft für Diakonie (workshops in Schleswig and Eckernförde).

On 25 September, particularly important individual topics under the overarching topic of the university days “challenges arising from inclusion in public services” were highlighted in presentations. The events on 30 September 2015, proceeded in the same format and also revolved around “challenges arising from inclusion in public services”.

jahresbericht_fb-steuer_bild-12The university’s “Department of Police” particularly excels by realising numerous events on current topics for the university, administration, policy-makers and citizens.

On 7 and 8 May 2014, the department held the Europe Day under the motto “We are Europe! Migration: Opportunity or Risk?” Apart from students and teaching staff of the FHVD, the event was attended by numerous guests from the state police, the judiciary, organisations and associations. Experts reported on the various European points of view and highlighted economic, municipal and sociological aspects of the issue.

On 6 October 2014, the department held an event on the topic of “the interaction of mentally disturbed persons with judicial institutions based on the Lindsey case.” The presentations ranged from a general description of evaluating the competency to stand trial and criminal penalties for mentally disturbed persons to the file analysis of 31 cases from a forensic and psychological point of view.

In addition to that, the Department of Police and the State Office of Criminal Investigations in Schleswig-Holstein made “Cybercrime” the focus of the joint event held on 9 December 2014.

As part of the annual Europe Day, held by the department, the event on “Nationalism, racism and Islam – Challenges for a reunited Germany as part of the European community of values” took place on 7 May 2015. Renowned experts on extreme political and religious currents in society and the government’s defensive options could be enlisted to hold presentations on the issue.

On 7 September 2015, the Department of Police took on the current and controversial but socially relevant topic of “displacement, refuge and asylum” together with Amnesty International. They were able to enlist Manuel Raschke from Amnesty International to speak at the event. He described the situation of people in crisis regions vividly and transparently displayed the reasons for seeking refuge and asylum.

The Department of Police ended the year of 2015 with an event on “25 years of German reunification”. Walter Momper, retired Governing Mayor of Berlin, Professor Hans-Peter Bull, retired Minister of the Interior of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, and Dr. Gregor Gysi, Member of the German Parliament, could be enlisted as speakers. As witnesses to the history of the two former German states and the divided city of Berlin, the three speakers were able to give a vivid account of their experiences on 3 October 1990.

As part of the reform of federalism, freedom of assembly was transferred from the competing legislative power of the federal government to the power of the individual states. The Department of Police held a ten-part lecture series as a technical support for the implementation of the new law on freedom of assembly in Schleswig-Holstein. Speakers at the event included Professor Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem, retired judge at the Federal Constitutional Court and Senator of Justice of Hamburg, Wolfgang Kubicki and Burkhard Peters, members of the state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein, among others.

From 1 March to 3 March 2016, the department for police held an event on the controversial and current “Refugee situation in Schleswig-Holstein – professional treatment and networked cooperation between public and private security”. Numerous senior staff of the state police of Schleswig-Holstein and from the private secur­ity sector discussed the problems of initial registration facilities and common shelters.

Events held by other departments. The department for general administration periodically displays projects implemented by its students for commissioning administrations as part of a presentation for the commissioning parties. The topics are closely related to actual problems in day-to-day administration. The project topics include: “Plain language in administrative decisions – tension between simplified language and legal requirements on the precision and reasoning of administrative decisions”, or “Administrative cooperation or administrative mergers – advantages and disadvantages” as well as “Evaluation of the introduction of a participatory budget”.

Furthermore, the university days in September 2016 focused on the problem of future-oriented administration. How administration will be organised is the question that will be answered while taking into account legal, sociological and economic issues. “Administration 4.0” was chosen as the working title.

On 11 and 12 June 2015, the department for pension insurance stated a new series of events under the banner of “Reinfelder Symposium”. The opening event was on “rehabilitation in German pension insurance – processes, structures and perspectives.” This symposium was continued in June 2016 and focuses on the problems of the SGB IX (book 9 of the German Social Insurance Code), the right to participation. This area has seen extensive reforms, and these new regulations and elaboration of the existing amendments are vital to practical application.

Publications. The FHVD supports all facets of practical administration with publications. The Department of Police published various papers on the issue of the right to assembly; essays and monographs support the legislative process of the law on freedom of assembly in Schleswig-Holstein from the start of discussions in the state parliament. In addition, there were hearings of experts in the committees on internal and legal affairs of the state parliament at which the Department of Police was present. (List of publications can be viewed on www.ebn24.com)

Summary. The FHVD lives and breathes application-oriented research in public administration connecting citizens, policy-makers and business and supports it sustainably. The duality of studying and training requires the teaching staff’s scientific supervision of the changing tasks in administration. Since they, as former employees in administration, are familiar with these processes and can provide an outside perspective, their critical scientific supervision inspires and guides processes of change in the various areas of administration.

konradProf. Dr. Josef Konrad Rogosch
The author is head of the Ausbildungszentrum für Verwaltung Schleswig-Holstein (training centre for administration) and the Verwaltungsakademie Bordesholm (academy for administration). Furthermore, Prof. Rogosch is the president of the Fachhochschule für Verwaltung und Dienstleistung in Schleswig-Holstein.