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Mongolia End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

Mongolia’s second action plan aimed to address a number of open government priorities in the country, such as transparency of media ownership and political finance, disclosure of beneficial ownership and contracts in the extractives sector, and improving the Glass Account (budget transparency) system. At the end of term, implementation of commitments was low and can be attributed to political transitions, limited public consultation, and in some cases, inaction from responsible institutions. To improve the next action plan, Mongolia could share more public information on open government activities, reinvigorate the working group to monitor implementation, raise awareness and include new government actors in the OGP process, specify intended outcomes for commitments, and place greater emphasis on improving civic engagement and public accountability in the extractives sector.

Table 1: At a Glance
  Mid-term End of term
Number of Commitments 13 13
Level of Completion
Completed   0   3
Substantial   3   1
Limited   6   9
Not Started   4   0
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values 13 13
Transformative Potential Impact 3 3
Substantial or Complete Implementation 3 4
All Three (✪) 1 1
Did It Open Government?
Major 3
Outstanding 0
Moving Forward
Number of Commitments Carried Over to Next Action Plan            4

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 second year of implementation of Mongolia’s second action plan, from October 2017 to June 2018 and includes some relevant developments up to August 2018.

Mongolia developed its second action plan between February and June 2016. The Cabinet Secretariat coordinates the OGP process and commitments in Mongolia. The OGP National Council consists of government ministries and some civil society organizations (CSOs). While civil society was actively involved in the development of the action plan, participation during implementation was limited to specific civil society groups. Although civil society members were represented in the OGP working group, this group was largely inactive during action plan implementation. Towards the end of the implementation period, a group of CSOs convened a public consultation on the progress of implementation. A number of major political changes and regular Cabinet re-shuffling took place during implementation of the second action plan, which contributed to shifting the Cabinet Secretariat’s time and attention away from OGP activities. The Cabinet Secretariat did not submit an end-of-term self-assessment report.

Public consultations, which included representatives from government ministries, civil society, the private sector, international organizations, and the media, were held to co-create the third action plan in the second half of 2018. However, as the Government of Mongolia did not submit its action plan by 1 January 2019, four months after the deadline of 31 August 2018, the country had acted contrary to OGP process. As a result of this delay, Mongolia shifted from the “even year” to the “odd year” cohort of OGP participants. Mongolia’s third action plan was approved on 31 January 2019 by the Cabinet Secretariat. It includes 13 commitments, covering public services, budget and finance, natural resources management, and other areas. Of the 13 commitments, four commitments are continued from the second action plan, while nine commitments are newly initiated.

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their national action plan. Following the approval of Mongolia’s second action plan, the National Council established a new working group to serve as a multi-stakeholder consultation forum to monitor implementation. However, this new working group, with broader participation, was mostly inactive during the implementation of the action plan. It should be noted that the parliamentary elections of 2016 and presidential elections of 2017, and subsequent widespread bureaucratic changes, diverted significant government attention away from OGP activities.

Towards the end of the implementation period, on 23 May 2018, a group of CSOs, led by Women for Progress, held a public consultation to discuss implementation of the commitments. Around 35 civil society and government participants attended. Representatives of CSOs who support implementation of commitments gave presentations on the progress and participants gave feedback. Representatives of the Cabinet Secretariat also attended the consultation. Subsequently, on the initiative of Women for Progress, civil society conducted monitoring on the implementation status of the second action plan in June 2018. The government did not take any action based on the feedback and monitoring.

Table 2: Consultation during Implementation

Regular Multi-stakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes Yes
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.[1] 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  

 

[1]  “IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum”, International Association for Public Participation, 2014, http://www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf

 

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