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Slovakia Design Report 2019-2021

Slovakia’s fourth action plan focuses on open data and civic participation in several policy areas. A transformative commitment on beneficial ownership transparency will substantially increase the amount of this information publicly available. The co-creation process was open and inclusive with opportunities for civil society to make proposals and receive feedback from government. The multi-stakeholder forum could be formalized, and the next plan could contain commitments tackling corruption issues that have become apparent in recent years.

Table 1. At a glanceParticipating since: 2011

Action plan under review: 4 (2019-2021)

Report type: Design

Number of commitments:  11

Action plan development

Is there a multistakeholder forum: Yes

Level of public influence: Collaborate

Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design

Commitments relevant to OGP values:    10 (91%)

Transformative commitments: 1 (9%)

Potentially starred commitments: 1

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

General overview of action plan

Slovakia’s 2019-2021 action plan was adopted shortly before a new government coalition came to power in March 2020. They won the election with a strong anti-corruption focus and have expressed support for the OGP process. Slovakia has a track record of commitments on open data, open education, and open science which continue into this action plan. This action plan also builds on previous measures like beneficial ownership transparency.

Similar to the previous action plan development, the co-creation process was open and inclusive, with multiple opportunities for stakeholder engagement. Despite being a key IRM recommendation, the multi-stakeholder forum was not formalized, but there were consultation meetings and working groups with equal representation of public administration and civil society. Numerous events and meetings enabled ongoing dialogue between government and civil society. The Office of the Plenipotentiary incorporated suggestions from civil society and the public where possible and provided reasons where this was not feasible. Recommendations from the latest IRM Design Report were also considered, such as having a more focused action plan with fewer commitments.

The fourth action plan has far fewer commitments than the previous one, and most of these commitments (91 percent) are relevant to OGP values of access to information or civic participation. The plan’s 11 commitments cover topics such as publishing data on the functioning of government, making more scientific and educational resources publicly available, participation in policymaking, and supporting engagement in EU structural funding programs. There is one transformative commitment about beneficial ownership that will collect and publish information on beneficial owners of all legal entities, not just those which receive public money.

 

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle
2. Publish open government data and APIs The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and E-government could provide assistance and guidance to implementing institutions to facilitate and ensure the publication of minimum mandatory datasets for proactive publication. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
4. Ensure full disclosure of beneficial ownership data The beneficial ownership information contained in the public registers needs to be continually checked for consistency and quality as Slovakia has committed to make this data available as high-quality open data. To facilitate greater usability and monitoring, the registers could be actively interconnected with other relevant government registers and datasets. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
5. Support the creation and maintenance of educational resources online The Ministry of Education could ensure targeted training of teachers and users of open educational resources. Efforts could be made to make open educational resources available in minority languages. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Recommendations

IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan. Please refer to Section V: General Recommendations for more details on each of the below recommendations.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations

Establish the formal multi-stakeholder forum, develop and publish its mandate with the participation of public administration, civil society, academia, and business representatives.
Engage high-level government representation with decision-making authority from the government in the working groups.
Strengthen access to information by improving the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), establishing an independent oversight body that monitors the application practice, and publishing data in high demand in open formats.
Develop effective and non-partisan measures that ensure transparency and oversight measures in judicial and prosecution reform.
Ensure that the beneficial ownership data published on the Register of Legal Entities, Entrepreneurs and Public Authorities meet the highest international standards and connect the register with the Register of Public Sector Partners.

 

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