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Panama Implementation Report 2017-2019

After implementing three action plans, Panama has improved its participation processes both during the co-creation and during the implementation of its commitments. Civil society participated in the implementation meetings and took a leading role in various commitments. Regarding implementation (and in contrast to the previous cycle, which was more effective), only two of the nine commitments reached a substantial level of progress, one was withdrawn from the plan and another was not initiated. This action plan contributed to the opening of the government particularly regarding access to information.

Table 1. At a glance

Member since: 2012

Action plan under review: Third

Type of report: Implementation

Number of commitments: 9

Action Plan Development

Is there a multistakeholder forum?: Yes

Level of public influence: Collaborate

Acted contrary to the OGP process: No

Action Plan Design

Commitments relevant to OGP values: 8 (89%)

Transformative commitments: 1 (11%)

Potentially starred commitments: 1 (11%)

Action Plan Implementation

Starred commitments: 1 (11%)

Completed commitments: 0 (0%)

Commitments with significant DIOG*: 2 (22%)

Commitments with exceptional DIOG *: 0 (0%)

Level of public influence: Involve

Acted contrary to the OGP process: No

*DIOG: Did it Open Government

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Panama joined OGP in 2012. Since then, the country has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the implementation of Panama’s third action plan.

General Overview of the Action Plan

Panama improved the engagement with civil society in the implementation processes, with an active role of the multi-stakeholder forum. The level of implementation of the commitments deteriorated compared to the previous cycle, due to changes within the Government and the lack of viability for the implementation of several proposals. One of the nine commitments originally included in the plan was withdrawn and one was not initiated.

Anticorruption and public procurement had the greatest achievements in the implementation of commitments. The only two commitments with a substantial level of progress and that achieved significant changes in the levels of government openness come from these two areas.

Improvements were particularly pronounced in the access to information dimension as a result of the launch of data dissemination platforms. One of these data dissemination commitments was assessed as a starred commitment.

Starred commitments must meet several criteria:

  • In the Design Report, the commitment is rated as verifiable, relevant to OGP values, and has a “transformative” potential impact.
  • The IRM Implementation Report rated the commitment implementation as substantial or completed.

Based on these criteria, Panama’s action plan has one starred commitment:

  1. Strengthen transparency and accountability in public infrastructure projects.

Table 2. Noteworthy Commitments

Commitment Description Status at the end of the implementation cycle
Commitment #2: Transparency in public infrastructure projects:

Develop a regulation that establishes the obligation to submit public infrastructure projects to the standards of the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative – CoST, including the Formal Disclosure Requirement (FDR).

The commitment was substantially implemented. The activities were completed almost entirely, except for the implementation of the regulations of the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative – CoST, which were due to start by December 2019. However, the country fulfilled the goal of creating said regulations and launching the platform “Panama en Obras”, needed by entities to comply with the standards of the Initiative.

Five Key IRM Recommendations

The IRM key recommendations are prepared in the IRM Design Report. They aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide the implementation of the current action plan. In the Panama Design Report (2017- 2019), the IRM recommended the following:

Formally create and consolidate a permanent dialogue forum between government and civil society to discuss open government initiatives.
Design a strategy to avoid abrupt changes as a result of the electoral transition.
As part of the cocreation process, design a methodology and work planfor the implementing institutions of the commitments to involve civil society organizations during their implementation.
Provide continuity to previously implemented commitments that require follow-up and additional initiatives to improve their impact and scope, such as open data or regulation commitments.
Include more ambitious commitments that are relevant to larger segments of the population and that effectively solve the issue identified.


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