France Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their citizenry, to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. France began participating in OGP in April 2014. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a biannual review of the activities of each country that participates in OGP. This report covers the action plan development period and first year of implementation, October 2014 through 30 June 2016. Progress made during the second year of implementation will be evaluated in the end of term report; to be published in early 2018.
The “mission Etalab” is the lead agency coordinating OGP in France. Etalab is part of the Interministerial Director of Digital Information and Communication system (DINSIC) tasked primarily with making public data available and coordinating France’s open government policy across ministries. Etalab is responsible for developing the OGP action plan and coordinating its implementation with each of the ministries and institutions responsible for specific OGP commitments and milestones, though it has little legal power to enforce policy changes within ministries.
Countries participating in the OGP follow a process for consultation during development of their OGP action plan and during implementation.
The action plan development was a consultative process involving government ministries and CSOs. The consultations were held through town hall meetings, semi-structured interviews and the final validation forum online.
While the consultation process between government and interested CSOs was collaborative, the general citizenry was largely unaware of the OGP process and there was no regular multistakeholder forum to monitor progress on implementation of commitments until the end of the first year of action plan implementation when Etalab launched a new consultation process called “Ministère ouvert” (Open Ministry). During the first year of implementation (July 2015 through June 2016), Etalab continued to hold in-person meetings with select CSOs, but minutes of these meetings were not made publicly available.
The government conducted the self-assessment of the action plan and published the report in September 2016.
As part of OGP participation, countries make commitments in a two-year action plan. The France action plan contains 29 commitments. The following tables summarize for each commitment the level of completion, potential impact, whether it falls within France’s planned schedule and the key next steps for the commitment in future OGP action plans. Similar commitments have been grouped and re-ordered in order to make reading easier. Note that the IRM updated the star criteria in early 2015 in order to raise the standard for model OGP commitments. Under these criteria, commitments must be highly specific, relevant to OGP values, of transformative potential impact, and substantially completed or complete. France received three starred commitments.