Bosnia and Herzegovina Action Plan Review 2022–2024
- Action Plan: Bosnia and Herzegovina Action Plan 2022-2024 (December)
- Dates Under Review: 2022-2024
- Report Publication Year: 2023
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen... contains three promising commitments on developing an By opening up data and making it sharable and reusable, governments can enable informed debate, better decision making, and the development of innovative new services. Technical specifications: Polici... portal, publishing Transparency in the procurement process can help combat corruption and waste that plagues a significant portion of public procurement budgets globally. Technical specifications: Commitments enhancing ... data, and enhancing the According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More of government funding for media and civil society. However, political crises adversely affected adoption of the action plan. Ongoing engagement of the multistakeholder forum despite such crises would encourage implementation and ensure oversight in collaboration with civil society.
|AT A GLANCE
Participating since: 2014
Action plan under review: 2022–2024
IRM product: action plan review
Number of commitments: 10
Overview of commitments:
Commitments with an open government lens: 10 (100%)
Commitments with substantial potential for results: 1 (10%)
Promising commitments: 3
Carried over from previous action plans:
Emerging in this action plan:
Compliance with OGP All OGP participating countries are expected to adhere to the Participation and Co-Creation Standards. Each Standard includes clear and measurable minimum requirements that all OGP participating count... for co-creation: No
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) second action plan contains ten commitments. It introduces BiH’s first OGP OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... on Disclosing beneficial owners — those who ultimately control or profit from a business — is essential for combating corruption, stemming illicit financial flows, and fighting tax evasion. Technical... More, and continues the previous plan’s efforts on open data, public procurement, anti-corruption, budget transparency, and access to information. Commitments target only state-level institutions, as lower levels of government (entities) function autonomously.
The most active phase of the co-creation process took place between June and November 2021. During this period, the multistakeholder forum held meetings and drafted the action plan, met with broader civil society organizations, as well as conducted a public consultation through the eKonsultacije (http://www.ekonsultacije.gov.ba) platform—although the draft received no comments. In December 2021, the action plan was submitted to the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina which delayed adoption until the end of 2022. Decision-making in BiH was paralyzed during a severe political crisis that led to High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina to call for early elections in October 2022.
BiH did not meet the minimum requirements of the updated OGP Participation and Co-Creation Standards. The multistakeholder advisory council, SV Initiative, did not meet during 2022, and the repository on the Ministry of Justice’s OGP webpage was not updated twice a year. To meet OGP requirements during the implementation period, BiH needs to ensure that its multistakeholder forum convenes at least every six months and that its Access to relevant information is essential for enabling participation and ensuring accountability throughout the OGP process. An OGP repository is an online centralized website, webpage, platform or ... is updated at least twice a year.
Three promising commitments in this action plan are aimed at improving access to government information. Commitment 1 intends to establish BiH’s first centralized government open data portal. This would streamline access to information that is currently scattered across government websites, including data which were previously not published in open data format, and could pave the way for widening information disclosure in the future. Commitment 6 plans to proactively publish information on the national public procurement portal (http://www.ejn.gov.ba) in an open data format, which would improve its use in public monitoring. Commitment 9 seeks to establish voluntary criteria encouraging state-level government institutions to publish information on public funding allocated to media and civil society organizations on an official online portal. Improving funding transparency could help reduce misallocation of funds and strengthen civil society independence.
The remaining commitments also offer opportunities for incremental progress, but do not envisage substantial changes to existing government practices. Commitments 7 and 10 envisage websites for government agencies focused on anti-corruption and OGP participating governments are bringing gender perspectives to popular policy areas, ensuring diversity in participatory processes, and specifically targeting gender gaps in policies to address gov... equality, and Commitment 8 aims to publish government integrity plans online. Their potential for results could improve by establishing feedback mechanisms that engage citizens’ participation to strengthen the accountability of respective agencies. For commitments that intend to raise awareness on beneficial ownership, agency budgets, and government statistics (3–5), implementers can plan for next steps that initiate concrete policy reforms. Additionally, aimed at introducing new government information disclosure practices, Commitment 2 could consider adding sanctions for non-compliance to achieve intended progress across government agencies.
Political instability and stalemate on important policy issues may complicate or delay implementation of the action plan. The EU’s BiH 2022 Report mentions that lack of political support hinders coordinated implementation of reforms at all levels of government. This is an ongoing issue in BiH, having also delayed the adoption of the action plan in two consecutive cycles. While stakeholders are aware of these circumstances, absence of state budget allocation for action plan implementation would leave them largely reliant on external donors, and again risk delaying implementation.
Promising Commitments in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022–2024 Action Plan
The following review looks at the three commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential to realize the most promising results. Promising commitments address a policy area that is important to stakeholders or the national context. They must be verifiable, have a relevant open government lens, and have modest or substantial potential for results. This review also provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan.
Table 1. Promising commitments
|1. Coordination of the open data ecosystem development: This commitment intends to establish BiH’s first centralized government open data portal, streamlining access to information that is currently scattered across government websites. It could pave the way for widening information disclosure in the future.|
|6. Open data on public procurement: This commitment plans to proactively publish information on the national public procurement portal (http://www.ejn.gov.ba) in an open data format, which would improve its usability for accountability purposes.|
|9. Improving budget allocation transparency: This commitment seeks to reduce misallocation of public funds by establishing voluntary criteria to encourage government institutions to publish information on public funding allocated to media and civil society organizations on an official online portal.|
 “2021 OGP Participation and Co-Creation Standards,” Open Government Partnership, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/ogp-participation-co-creation-standards/.
 The repository is updated when there are updates from the multistakeholder forum. As the forum did not meet in 2022, the repository was not updated.
 This is explained in Section II: Promising Commitments.
 “Bosnia and Herzegovina Report 2022,” European Commission, 12 October 2022, https://neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu/bosnia-and-herzegovina-report-2022_en.