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Sweden Action Plan Review 2023-2025

This product consists of an IRM review of Sweden’s 2023-2025 action plan. The action plan comprises four commitments that the IRM has filtered and clustered into two. This review emphasizes its analysis on the strength of the action plan to contribute to implementation and results. For the commitment-by-commitment data, see Annex 1. For details regarding the methodology and indicators used by the IRM for this Action Plan Review, see Section III.

Overview of the 2023-2025 Action Plan

Sweden’s fifth action plan continues to focus on open data. To improve the impact of the commitments, Sweden could make “open by default” mandatory in the public sector and use open data to support anti-corruption reforms, like public procurement, lobbying, and beneficial ownership. The Ministry of Finance should ensure that Sweden meets OGP’s Participation and Co-Creation Standards during implementation through regular dialogue with civil society on the progress of the action plan.

Sweden’s fifth action plan (2023-2025) includes four commitments. For Commitments 1 and 2, the government will adopt the International Open Data Charter (ODC) and task the Agency for Digital Government (Digg) with implementing the ODC principles. Commitment 3 involves promoting access to purchasing data, while Commitment 4 will address anti-corruption. The action plan lacks details on the planned activities or milestones for implementation. For example, Commitment 3 does not indicate how purchasing data will be opened, and Commitment 4 does not provide the anti-corruption activities to be carried out.

The co-creation process consisted of two meetings with civil society. The government tasked NOD to organize the first meeting in October 2022, where and participants discussed potential topics for the action plan.[1] Stakeholders were identified as civil society organizations (CSOs) with expertise in the chosen theme of (digitalization for an open and transparent public sector). However, some key organizations in the open government field, such as Transparency International Sweden, were not informed in advance. The Ministry of Finance organized a follow-up meeting in February 2023 where it presented the draft action plan.[2] The same stakeholders that participated in the October meeting were invited to the February meeting. During this meeting, the ministry answered questions around the draft commitments but explained that the action plan could not be changed at that time and that the details would be clarified during implementation. For future co-creation processes, the Ministry of Finance could include more follow-up consultations after initial ideas are gathered in order to allow more time for governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to jointly draft the commitments.

The adoption of the ODC, particularly “open by default”, has been a priority for Swedish civil society and could send a strong political signal to the public administration on the need for open data. The government may need to pass legislation that obliges the public administration to open certain datasets with sanctions for non-compliance. DIGG should develop a detailed roadmap to guide implementation of the ODC principles and measure its results. DIGG could also offer technical support to local administrations and municipalities working on open data. The IRM also recommends linking open data to the work on anti-corruption under Commitment 4, such as public procurement, lobbying, and political finance.

The Ministry of Finance should ensure that Sweden meets the requirements of OGP’s Participation and Co-Creation Standards during the implementation phase. This will entail organizing consultations with civil society at least once every six months and updating Sweden’s OGP repository at least twice a year with evidence of implementation. The ministry should also hold at least two meetings with civil society every year to present the results on implementation and collect comments.

Promising Commitments in Sweden’s 2023-2025 Action Plan

The following review looks at the cluster of commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential to realize the most promising results. Promising commitments address a policy area that is important to stakeholders or the national context. They must be verifiable, have a relevant open government lens, and have modest or substantial potential for results. This review also provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan.

Table 1. Promising commitments

Promising Commitments
Cluster 1: Open data: The government will adopt the principles of the International Open Data Charter. The government will also task the Agency for Digital Government with implementing the ODC principles and with promoting open access to purchasing data.

[1] NOD is a third-party organization for dialogue between the Swedish government and civil society.

[2] In March 2023, the OGP portfolio in Sweden transferred from the Ministry of Infrastructure to the Ministry of Finance, and from the Department of Digital Policy to the Department of Public Administration. Since the transfer, the point of contact to OGP has been the Deputy Director of the Department of Public Administration.


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