Spain Design Report 2017-2019
- Action Plan: Spain Action Plan 2017-2019
- Dates Under Review: 2017-2019
- Report Publication Year: 2020
Spain’s third action planAction 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... made significant progress in terms of strengthening and deepening the open government agenda in the country. The plan is highly relevant to the value of access to information and notably committed to the institutionalization of the open government forum. During its development, the Government provided well-founded feedback about the extent to which public input was incorporated. The IRM recommends for the new forum created as part of this plan to serve as a space for collaboration and iterative dialogue with civil society during the design phase of future plans. To increase ambitionAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should “stretch government practice beyond its current baseline with respect to key areas of open government.” Ambition captures the po..., the IRM researcher recommends seeking stronger engagement of different branches of the State with high level support and to share leadership of the plan with civil society representatives and the public.
|Table 1. At a Glance
Member since: 2011
Action plan under review: 2017-2019
Type of report: Design
Number of commitments: 20
Action plan development
Is there a multi-stakeholder forumRegular 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...? Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values:
Transformative commitments: 1 (5%)
Potentially starred: 1
Action plan implementation
Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with major DIOG: N/A
Commitments with outstanding DIOG: N/A
Open Government PartnershipThe 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 voluntary initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparencyAccording 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, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)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 ... conducts yearly assessments of each OGP member’s activities to ensure that governments comply with their commitments. Spain joined OGP in 2011 and has since implemented three action plans. This report assesses the design of the third action plan (2017-2019).
Spain’s third action plan was a watershed moment with regards to previous action plans, as it incorporates the creation of a new governance structure – the Open Government Forum – as one of its commitments. The forum represents a space for dialogue and collaboration with equal representation from the Central Administration, autonomic administrations, and civil society. The country’s administrations are making significant progress in e-government and transparency. Spain has three active action plans led by the three levels of government: the Government of Spain, the Basque Government, and the Municipality of Madrid. Areas of opportunity include securing and streamlining the right to access to public information, promoting social control, and public accountabilityAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, public accountability occurs when ”rules, regulations, and mechanisms in place call upon government actors to justify their actions, act upon criticisms ... More.
Overall, stakeholders’ perception of the third action plan process was positive, and it was seen as a first step to increase the influence of the public in the future, as compared to the first and second action plans. All the interviewees acknowledged that the different forums contributed to increasing the understanding and trust of participants. During this period, the Government reached the involve level as a result of the disclosure of well-founded feedback with regards to the public input received. The Government led the consultation and drafting processes of the plan, including10 commitments that directly address citizen proposals, out of a total of 20. The Government also hosted a series of meetings with civil society organizations to discuss the public input. However, there was not a space in the process to allow for non-governmental stakeholders (experts, academia, civil society organizations, etc.) to share the leadership in the agenda-setting (with decision-making capacity over the plan) or to contribute to the structuring of commitments and milestones. However, the AGE showed a clear commitmentOGP 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... to engage the territorial administrations and civil society organizations that showed interest during the implementation phase (which is not assessed in this report).
The 20 commitments that comprise the third action plan are organized in five themes: collaboration, transparency, participation, accountability, and educationAccountability within the public education system is key to improving outcomes and attainment, and accountability is nearly impossible without transparent policies and opportunities for participation .... They include numerous actions for collaboration among territorial administrations; measures to initiate children and youthRecognizing that investing in youth means investing in a better future, OGP participating governments are creating meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in government processes. Technical ... in open government values; efforts to deepen the understanding and practice of administrations, to promote citizen participationAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, citizen participation occurs when “governments seek to mobilize citizens to engage in public debate, provide input, and make contributions that lead to m... More and innovations in e-governmentGovernments are working to increase access to and quality of government services, improve transparency, and create opportunities for participation by using information and communications technologies ... and transparency.
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Next steps||Status at the end of the implementation cycle|
|1.1 Create an Open Government Forum||Consolidate the forum as a means to funnel the development of the action plan, ensuring the incorporation of iterative dialogue among stakeholders throughout the co-creation processCollaboration 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....||This will be assessed at the end of the implementation cycle.|
|1.3 Network of Local Entities for Transparency and Participation
Promote the consolidation and operation of the Network of Local Entities for Transparency and Participation
|The IRM researcher recommends promoting peer learning, making data openness tools more sustainable, harmonizing criteria to interpret access to information rights and fostering inter-administrative dialogue and coordination.||This will be assessed at the end of the implementation cycle.|
|2.2 Participation Observatory
An assessment of participation in the public realm to identify best practices and develop effective participation approaches
|Adjust the Participation Observatory to apply lessons learned from the studies. Influence the creation of a legal framework for participation.
Create an outreach strategy focused on beneficiaries.
|This will be assessed at the end of the implementation cycle.|
|3.5 Rules for the Transparency Act
Development of the Transparency, Access to Public Information, and Good Governance Act with Public ParticipationGiving citizens opportunities to provide input into government decision-making leads to more effective governance, improved public service delivery, and more equitable outcomes. Technical specificatio...
|Enable the completionImplementers must follow through on their commitments for them to achieve impact. For each commitment, OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) evaluates the degree to which the activities outlin... of active disclosure obligations and guarantee the protection of access to information rights: defining time limits, procedures and undetermined legal concepts to secure enforcement of the causes of non-admission and/or limits according to Act 19/2013 and interpretative criteria of the Transparency and Good Governance Council.||This will be assessed at the end of the implementation cycle.|
|5.3 Open Government Education
Educate students to practice democracy, transparency and interaction with the public realm
|Continue online education, differentiating among target audiences: government officers, CSOs, teachers and citizens. Enhance the exchange of experience and resources to create inter-administrative networks for a unified methodology of ethical standards and participatory approaches, promoting an open government culture among public administrations.||This will be assessed at the end of the implementation cycle.|
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the design of the upcoming action plan and guide the implementation of the current plan.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM recommendations
|1. Improve the forum workflow and operations to increase the quality of participation and offer spaces that allow the public to influence the commitment design.|
|2. Reduce the number of commitments but increase their completion, ambition, and potential impact; incorporate a focus on citizen priorities, such as anti-corruption, through open dataBy 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... approaches, whistleblower protection policies, and lobby regulationGovernment reformers are developing regulations that enshrine values of transparency, participation, and accountability in government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or reforming ....|
|3. Incentivize active participation of civil society and strengthen its internal coordination.|
|4. Design a communication strategy to allow the public to identify the national OGP process and opportunities to participate.|
|5. Secure high-level political engagement and additional government entities in the OGP process and advance toward and “open State”.|
 Pilot OGP Local Program. See: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/local, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/countries/basque-country-spain, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/madrid-action-plan-2018-2020
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