The following text was contributed by the Government of Slovakia.
On September 20, 2011, the Slovak Republic acceded to the international Open Government Partnership Initiative (OGP) and joined 50 OGP member countries, which include among others, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, as well as the USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya and Ghana.
The Government of the Slovak Republic joined the Open Government Partnership and committed to give its citizens a larger role in public administration in support of its policy with emphasis on a change in the culture of politics, on transparency and eradication of corruption which has been implemented since its formation in 2010. The effort to change the paradigm can also be illustrated by the statement made by Slovak Prime Minister, Iveta Radičová: "If the government is to be human, it must be open to citizens." The partner countries made a commitment to submit their National Action Plans that describe the actions to be taken in the field of open government by April 9, 2012. The Action Plans will be presented at the Annual OGP Conference in Brazil on April 16-18, 2012. Major commitments that Slovakia declared for by joining the OGP Initiative are transparency in government and public administration, public participation, and responsibility and openness through new technologies. Slovakia will promote use of new technologies to facilitate innovations and active participation of citizens in public discussions. Slovakia will also take measures to promote access to information regarding actions of the Government and public administration, and will comply with associated principles of accountability.
The Slovak Republic has adopted various measures in the fight against corruption and to enhance transparency. It has adopted an act that conditions the entry of force of contracts made in the public administration sector to their publication in the Central Register of Contracts. The European Union declared this anti-corruption programme as exceeding the standards and to be used as a model for other countries. The Slovak Republic considers its membership in the OGP initiative, inaugurated by the President of the United States Barack Obama, as an acknowledgement of its efforts to promote open society and considers this programme the right action to be taken in its efforts to make public policies as transparent as possible. This initiative complies with the efforts of the European Union aiming at becoming a leader in the use of open data. In December 2011, the European Commission launched the Open Data Strategy for Europe to make its data available to the public through a new open portal.
The Action Plan has been developed in consultation with a wide spectrum of organizations involved in the dialogue and given the opportunity of providing their opinions on the content of the document. Participatory creation of public policies is one of the main principles proclaimed and followed by the Action Plan. In addition, the Advisory Board for the OGP Initiative comprising of representatives of the Government, ministries, and the third sector has been established. There has been a broad debate with representatives of non-governmental organizations across regions in Slovakia and comments of respective ministries have been included in the document.
Prime Minister Radičová said "the assessment of institutions of adopted anti-corruption mechanisms during my term in office are considered above standard not only within the Visegrad Group, but also in Europe."
The Open Government Partnership is an important step towards transparency and in a fight against corruption in the Slovak Republic. The Action Plan aims to propose specific actions necessary to maintain the position of Slovakia among the international elite in the field of open governance and fight against corruption.
Following the 12-month implementation cycle of the Action Plan, an evaluation process will take place in order to produce a Report on the Open Government Initiative prepared by independent experts and focused on the evaluation of the Action Plan commitments. The Government will also provide its internal evaluation of the Action Plan.
Some public administration bodies, e.g. local government bodies or their contributory institutions are required to publish contracts on their own websites, not on the Central Register of Contracts.