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Romania Design Report 2018-2020

Romania’s fourth action plan covers a wide range of topics, including some areas where the country has seen a decline in recent years. Notable commitments include standardizing public consultations, improving transparency of national investment funds, and simplifying monitoring of the management of seized assets. Moving forward, Romania could consider increasing transparency of large public spending, improving the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary, and publishing information on all concluded government contracts in open format.

Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2011
Action plan under review: 4
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 18

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:   17 (94%)
Transformative commitments:     2 (11%)
Potentially starred:         2 (11%)

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 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. Romania joined OGP in 2011. Since then, Romania has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the design of Romania’s fourth action plan.

General overview of action plan

In recent years, Romania has made significant progress in areas of open data, publishing asset declarations of public officials, and budget transparency. Despite having comprehensive anticorruption legislation, corruption remains a problem in the country due to weak enforcement. The fourth action plan continues to pursue many of the initiatives from previous plans.

The General Secretariat of the Government (SGG) led the development of Romania fourth action plan. Civil society submitted proposals for the action plan during online consultations, though no in-person consultations were held. The OGP coordination team ensured that civil society shaped seven of the final 18 commitments in the fourth action plan.

The commitments in Romania’s fourth action plan cover a variety of policy areas that aim to strengthen public participation and government transparency, extend social services, and promote open data. 

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle.
1. Standardization of practices on public consultation processes

Expand the e-consultare.gov.ro platform to standardize decisional transparency in public administration.

To ensure effective implementation of this commitment, the SGG could take steps to ensure the e-consultare.gov.ro platform’s institutional memory and provide sufficient budget for the platform’s development. SGG could also consult civil society and public administrations on the implementation norms for law on decisional transparency in public administration. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.
10. Improve transparency in allocations and acquisitions from national investment funds

Identify and open more databases related to national investment funds and organize a public consultation on the National Program for Local Development.

The potential impact of this commitment will depend on which datasets the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP) publishes. Moving forward, MDRAP could utilize the public consultations to better understand what information citizens would like to have opened. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.
13. Improve transparency in the management of seized assets

Create the national system to record and manage information on seized assets.

This new system envisioned under this commitment could allow for real-time monitoring of granular-level information on the government’s management of seized assets. Moving forward, the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets needs to ensure implementation of the original version of the system. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.
16. Open Education

Increase the transparency of the education system and create the Virtual School Library portal for open educational resources.

This commitment could potentially improve the creation of auxiliary educational materials that supplement schoolbooks and help reduce school dropout rates. Moving forward, the Ministry of National Education could standardize the uploading procedures for open educational resources to the Virtual School Library portal and reward schoolteachers that actively contribute their own open educational resources. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle

Recommendations

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

Strengthen the institutional framework in which the OGP process takes place.
Set up online participation and deliberation mechanisms to engage with decision makers and facilitate accountability of public officials on specific open government topics.
Increase transparency of large public spending and implement participatory budgeting initiatives.
Conduct an evidence-based evaluation of the Justice Laws reform and propose policies to improve the independence and the effectiveness of the Judiciary.
Publish information on all concluded government contracts as open data in OCDS format.

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Filed under: IRM IRM Report

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