Portugal Design Report 2018-2020
- Action Plan: Portugal Action Plan 2018-2020
- Dates Under Review: 2018-2020
- Report Publication Year: 2019
Portugal’s first OGP 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... joins a series of government-led efforts to promote 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 and civic engagement in the political process. Participating civil society and government representatives in the Regular dialogue between government and civil society is a core element of OGP participation. It builds trust, promotes joint problem-solving, and empowers civil society to influence the design, imple... praised the Collaboration between government, civil society and other stakeholders (e.g., citizens, academics, private sector) is at the heart of the OGP process. Participating governments must ensure that a dive... to develop the plan as a major milestone achievement for consultations in Portugal. Two commitments could potentially transform the areas of public consultations and access to 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 ... information, while others are limited in scope. Moving forward, promoting more channels for public inputs in the co-creation process could be prioritized.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2017
Action plan under review: First
Report type: Design Report
Number of commitments: 8
Action plan development
Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values 8 (100%)
Transformative commitments: 2 (25%)
Potentially starred: 2 (25%)
Action plan implementation
Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with Major DIOG*: N/A
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: N/A
*DIOG: Did it Open Government?
The The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (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 The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Portugal joined OGP in 2017. This report evaluates the design of Portugal’s first action plan.
General overview of action plan
Portugal’s first action plan focused on improving citizens’ access to public information. Portugal has been characterized by low levels of trust in political institutions and weak civic engagement, in part due to repeated cases of public mismanagement and corruption. This plan joins a set of initiatives to promote transparency and to involve citizens in the political process. Portugal could consider including other open government policy areas in future action plans, such as improving citizens’ relationship with the While a majority of open government reforms occur within the executive branch, OGP members are increasingly taking on commitments to increase the openness of the judicial branch. Technical specificati... system.
The Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA) invited nine organizations to form the multi-stakeholder forum (MSF) responsible for the co-creation of the action plan. The invitation-only forum developed a first set of 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... proposals followed by a short consultation period where citizens could comment on existing proposals or propose their own. According to several forum members, the plan ended up limited in scope due to time constraints and the lack of a specific budget for implementation of the initiatives. Still, MSF members were unanimous in praising the process of bringing together civil society and public administration to work together on open government initiatives.
Civil society representatives brought forward most proposals, but only three were included in the final eight commitments. Most of the commitments represent small steps toward improving access to public information, reflecting AMA’s focus on feasibility. That said, the plan includes two potentially transformative commitments: the development of a new portal for public consultation in government-initiated Creating and passing legislation is one of the most effective ways of ensuring open government reforms have long-lasting effects on government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or r... (Commitment 6); and a series of interrelated initiatives aimed at strengthening transparency in public procurement (Commitment 8).
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Status at the end of implementation cycle
Create a portal for legislative public consultations, accessible to all, allowing citizens to participate in the legislative process.
|The government could consider making it mandatory to provide feedback to citizens through the Consulta.Lex portal and disseminate the new platform among the general public and public entities that will start using it.
|Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
|8. Strengthening transparency in public procurement
Enhance transparency in public procurement by publishing 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... on the entire public procurement cycle, reducing drastically the use of Direct Award Contracts, and developing and implementing civic monitoring mechanisms.
|It is important to ensure that all organizations responsible for the implementation of the initiative take part in its development, even if not formally included in the forum.
As part of the implementation of the commitment, consider developing an Application Programming Interface (API) to accompany the 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 ... Base.gov, to facilitate access to the data.
|Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations
|1. Establish more channels for public inputs in the co-creation process and guarantee reasoned and timely feedback to all participants. A public consultation process or workshop earlier in the development phase could incentivize more public involvement.
|2. Promote parity of governmental and non-governmental organizations in the multi-stakeholder forum. Different tiers of participation in the forum could be considered.
|3. Prioritize commitments involving the To address barriers that prevent citizens from having their justice needs met, OGP participating governments are working to expand transparency, accountability, and inclusion into all systems of justi... sector, one of the areas of public administration where public trust is lower. Engage directly with relevant actors in the sector and promote transparency or accountability.
|4. Include commitments that have a balanced focus on accountability and civic participation initiatives in order to enhance the scope of future action plans.
|5. Improve public knowledge about OGP process through mainstream media and targeted communications to increase engagement around future action plans.