In recent years, the key developments of the Lithuanian cultural policy are related to the establishment of two cultural policy implementation institutions (Lithuanian Council for Culture and Film Centre) due to the cultural policy system reform in 2012–2013. Although these institutions distribute only a small part of public funds (about 7 and 2 per cent of overall central state funding respectively), they have brought into the cultural policy a new ethos of communication and management based on dialogue, openness and accountability to the public. Each year, the Lithuanian Council for Culture organises a public forum for the cultural community to discuss strategic directions of funding, prepares activity reports for the public, publishes council’s decisions and lists of projects that got and did not get funding, collects and publishes statistics, etc.
The aim of the reform of the cultural policy system was its horizontal decentralisation and democratisation by separating functions of policy development and implementation. The new model had to ensure that the Ministry of Culture, which previously was mostly engaged with the distribution and administration of funding, undertakes a more active role of strategic cultural policy development. However, after the establishment of two above-mentioned institutions, the Ministry continued to finance programmes and projects by way of public tender and did not activate the strategic policy making.
Due to the much discussion in the public sphere about the Ministry’s role in developing policies, in 2017 the National Audit Office of Lithuania performed the audit How the Ministry of Culture Forms Culture Policy and Organises and Manages Its Implementation. The goal of the audit was to assess the processes of the cultural policy development, organisation, coordination and control performed by the Ministry of Culture. The results of the audit showed that the Ministry’s structure was not appropriate for the implementation of its functions; the Ministry lacked sufficient and comprehensive monitoring data necessary for the development of cultural policy; the organisation of the implementation of cultural policy was flawed because the planning documents approved by the Government and the Ministry of Culture were not coordinated; the inconsistent monitoring of subordinate cultural and arts-related establishments failed to ensure that their activities be oriented towards results.
In next years, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture implemented several recommendations of the National Audit Office. In 2018, the structure of the Ministry was reorganised: departments were abolished, 11 units were created instead of 18 structural divisions, the tasks and functions of the units were laid down in regulations which have been made publicly available on the Ministry’s website. In 2017, the Ministry established the Unit of Monitoring and Data Analysis in the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The unit inventoried and analysed the data that was collected by the Ministry and its subordinate institutions, evaluated statistical information, data sources and cultural indicators collected by Eurostat and the Lithuanian Department of Statistics. By 2022, it is planned to develop a data information system. The Ministry also prepared important strategic documents (the Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030 and the Law on Culture 2019) which is currently under the consideration in the Seimas) and commissioned several important survey research and feasibility studies: Outlining directions of cultural policies (2018), Participation of the Population in Culture and Satisfaction with Cultural Services (ESS-net Culture methodology) (2017), Feasibility Study Improving Policy Formation and Implementation of Lithuanian Culture Internationalization (2017) and Examination of the Legislation Governing the Protection of Cultural Heritage and the Provision of Services and the Role of the Institutions Involved in the Protection of Cultural Heritage (2019).