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Moldova End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

Table 1: At a Glance
Mid-term End of term
Number of Commitments 8
Level of Completion
Completed 0 2
Substantial 1 2
Limited 7 4
Not Started 0 0
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values    
Transformative Potential Impact 0 0
Substantial or Complete Implementation 1 4
All Three (✪) 0 0
Did It Open Government?
Major 3
Outstanding 0
Moving Forward
Number of Commitments Carried Over to Next Action Plan 4

 

The Government of the Republic of Moldova has fully or substantially implemented half of the action plan commitments. Three had a major impact on opening government, such as the launch of a fully transparent new public procurement e-system. Moving forward, it is crucial for the government to focus on commitments that can ensure opening the government and creating opportunities for civic participation.

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. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a review of the activities of each OGP-participating country. This report summarizes the results of the period January 2018–December 2018.

The State Chancellery is the responsible entity for the open government agenda. For the 2016-2018 action plan, the Chancellery delegated some responsibilities to the E-Government Center (founded by the State Chancellery in 2010 and renamed the Moldovan E-Government Agency in May 2018[1]). The E-Government Center, hereafter known as the E-Government Agency, together with the State Chancellery, was also in charge of the OGP 2016–2018 action plan co-creation process with support from the Open Government Institute, a local non-governmental organization (NGO). The approval of the OGP action plan[2] on 28 December 2016 confirmed the institutional arrangements for OGP. As of January 2017, the State Chancellery[3] was named responsible for OGP activities,[4] establishing an OGP point of contact.

Civil society representatives were involved in the action plan development, however, there was no forum in place to monitor the implementation. A total of 16 institutions (central ministries and agencies) were assigned to implement the action plan.[5] However, in 2017, the Moldovan Government underwent a reorganization, resulting in fewer ministries (from 16 to 9).[6] Some ministries relevant to the implementation of the OGP action plan were merged, and some responsible persons were re-assigned, making it difficult to follow or assess the implementation of certain milestones. One of the highlights was the introduction of an e-procurement system fully open to the public, which would be used by all public authorities, and would link information from the planning through the awarding of the contract.

Since the implementation of the 2016–2018 action plan was delayed by six months and some commitment activities were to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, the current implementation period ended on 31 December 2018. However, the government did not request an official extension from OGP. The research for this IRM report covered the period until November 2018. The government published its End-of-Term Self-Assessment Report in January 2019 on the OGP and on the Chancellery website in early March 2019.

In April 2018, the General Secretariat of the Government created the Coordination Committee for Open Government[7] as the permanent dialogue mechanism 4+4 (involving both government and civil society representatives) for developing the 2019–2020 action plan.[8] The committee initiated the development of Moldova’s fourth action plan in May 2018[9] through consultations with relevant governmental stakeholders and the final action plan draft was published online on particip.gov.md[10] for public consultations on 7 September 2018[11] and republished on 24 October 2018[12]. The government approved the action plan on 28 November 2018[13] and formally submitted it in December 2018. It includes six commitments, some of which build off of the 2016–2018 commitments, while others are new, and covers the modernization of public services, strengthening the accountability of public authorities, ensuring transparency of public procurement and budgeting, ensuring access to information and promoting the use of open data by citizens, as well as new areas like strengthening collaboration with civil society and involving diaspora in decision-making processes.

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their action plan. There was no consultation forum in place during the implementation period. There were consultations organized with civil society in the context of specific action plan activities, however, there was no mechanism in place to ensure the monitoring of the action plan implementation. After the development of the 2016-2018 action plan, and its approval on 29 December 2016, the Open Government Working Group that had convened and functioned as a multistakeholder forum ceased meetings.

The Coordination Committee for Open Government 4+4 served as the multistakeholder forum for the development of Moldova’s 2019–2020 action plan and it is foreseen that the committee will also oversee implementation of that plan.

Table 2: Consultation during Implementation

Regular Multistakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes No
2. Did it meet regularly? No No

Table 3: Level of Public Influence during Implementation

The IRM has adapted the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Participation” to apply to OGP.[14] This spectrum shows the potential level of public influence on the contents of the action plan. In the spirit of OGP, most countries should aspire for “collaborative.”

Level of Public Influence during Implementation of Action Plan Midterm End of Term
Empower The government handed decision-making power to members of the public.
Collaborate There was iterative dialogue AND the public helped set the agenda.
Involve The government gave feedback on how public inputs were considered.
Consult The public could give inputs.
Inform The government provided the public with information on the action plan.
No Consultation No consultation

About the Assessment

The indicators and method used in the IRM research can be found in the IRM Procedures Manual.[15] One measure, the “starred commitment” (✪), deserves further explanation due to its particular interest to readers and usefulness for encouraging a race to the top among OGP-participating countries. Starred commitments are considered exemplary OGP commitments. To receive a star, a commitment must meet several criteria:

  • Starred commitments will have “medium” or “high” specificity. A commitment must lay out clearly defined activities and steps to make a judgment about its potential impact.
  • The commitment’s language should make clear its relevance to opening government. Specifically, it must relate to at least one of the OGP values of Access to Information, Civic Participation, or Public Accountability.
  • The commitment would have a “transformative” potential impact if completely implemented.[16]
  • The government must make significant progress on this commitment during the action plan implementation period, receiving an assessment of “substantial” or “complete” implementation.

Starred commitments can lose their starred status if their completion falls short of substantial or full completion at the end of the action plan implementation period.

In the midterm report, Moldova’s action plan did not contain any starred commitments. At the end of term, based on the changes in the level of completion, Moldova’s action plan did not contain any starred commitments.

Finally, the tables in this section present an excerpt of the wealth of data the IRM collects during its reporting process. For the full dataset for Moldova, see the OGP Explorer at http://www.opengovpartnership.org/explorer.

About “Did It Open Government?”

To capture changes in government practice, the IRM introduced a new variable “Did It Open Government?” in end-of-term reports. This variable attempts to move beyond measuring outputs and deliverables to looking at how the government practice has changed as a result of the commitment’s implementation.

As written, some OGP commitments are vague and/or not clearly relevant to OGP values but achieve significant policy reforms. In other cases, commitments as written appear relevant and ambitious, but fail to open government as implemented. The “Did It Open Government” variable attempts to capture these subtleties.

The “Did It Open Government?” variable assesses changes in government practice using the following spectrum:

  • Worsened: Government openness worsens as a result of the commitment.
  • Did not change: No changes in government practice.
  • Marginal: Some change, but minor in terms of its effect on level of openness.
  • Major: A step forward for government openness in the relevant policy area but remains limited in scope or scale.
  • Outstanding: A reform that has transformed “business as usual” in the relevant policy area by opening government.

To assess this variable, researchers establish the status quo at the outset of the action plan. They then assess outcomes as implemented for changes in government openness.

Readers should keep in mind limitations. IRM end-of-term reports are prepared only a few months after the implementation cycle is completed. The variable focuses on outcomes that can be observed in government openness practices at the end of the two-year implementation period. The report and the variable do not intend to assess impact because of the complex methodological implications and the timeframe of the report.

Commitment Implementation

General Overview of Commitments

As part of OGP, countries are required to make commitments in a two-year action plan. The tables below summarize the completion level at the end of term and progress on the “Did It Open Government?” metric. For commitments that were complete at the midterm, the report will provide a summary of the progress report findings but focus on analysis of the ‘Did It Open Government?’ variable. For further details on these commitments, please see the Moldova IRM progress report December 2016–December 2017.

Moldova’s third action plan was linked to existing reforms and other existing action plans, and the six commitments focused on public procurement procedure, open data, e-government, and modernization of public services and public sector evaluation. However, for IRM reporting purposes, the commitments were reorganized from six to eight. Thus, Commitment 1 was reorganized into Commitments 1a (the first four activities) and 1b (the last three activities); and Commitment 3 was reorganized into Commitments 3a (the first four activities) and 3b (the following nine activities).


[1] The Governmental Decision no.414, http://lex.justice.md/md/375459/. The Decision was published in the Official Gazette on 18 May 2018, https://www.monitorul.md/monitor/v-2040-v/
[2] The Governmental Decision no. 1432 Republic of Moldova, http://lex.justice.md/index.php?action=view&view=doc&lang=1&id=368355
[3] The State Chancellery is the Government Apparatus, organized and functioning based on Government Decision no.657 of 6 November 2009. Although founded by the State Chancellery, the E-Government Center (the body previously responsible for OGP activities) and the State Chancellery are two separate institutions that operate independently of each other.
[4] Since the E-Government Center’s e-transformation program financial assistance ended in 2016, the open data position was also eliminated.
[5] Ministry of Finance, the Public Procurement Agency, the Customs Office, the State Chancellery, the E-Government Center, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Regional Development and Constructions, Ministry of Education, Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre of the Republic of Moldova, National Agency for Regulations of Electronic Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Agency for Agricultural Interventions and Payments, National Social Insurance Agency, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of External Affairs and European Integration, and Ministry of Culture. After the Government restructuring in July 2016 some ministries ceased to exist (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, and Ministry of Economy). For accuracy, the researcher provides below the new names of the ministries which were merged: Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, and Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.
[6] The government reorganization, http://lex.justice.md/index.php?action=view&view=doc&lang=1&id=370968
[7] The Coordination Committee for Open Government, https://cancelaria.gov.md/ro/apc/comitetul-de-coordonare-pentru-o-guvernare-deschisa
[8] The 2019-2020 action plan, http://www.egov.md/ro/communication/news/participa-la-crearea-planului-de-actiuni-pentru-o-guvernare-deschisa-pentru-anii
[9] Information provided via email by the State Chancellery OGP Contact Point, Natalia Bejenar, on 31 October 2018.
[10] The government’s consultations webpage.
[11] The government’s consultations website: http://particip.gov.md/proiectview.php?l=ro&idd=5718
[12] The government’s consultations website: http://particip.gov.md/proiectview.php?l=ro&idd=5846
[13] The Governmental Decision no. 1172 Republic of Moldova, http://lex.justice.md/index.php?action=view&view=doc&lang=1&id=378313
[14] For more information on the IAP2 Spectrum, see http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf
[15] IRM Procedures Manual, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/irm-procedures-manual/.
[16] The International Experts Panel changed this criterion in 2015. For more information, visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/node/5919.

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