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Tunisia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Tunisia’s second action plan covers a wide range of issues from transparency in the extractives sector to establishment of an authority to regulate access to information. While the plan includes several commitments that represent major steps, some lack sufficient detail to be transformative. After the first year of implementation the majority of commitments had limited completion, in part due to frequent changes in public administration. The next action plan would benefit from alignment with the anti-corruption strategy and stronger ownership at all levels of government.
HIGHLIGHTS

Commitment Overview Well-
Designed? *
1. Join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) This commitment will begin the preparatory process for joining EITI, which would increase transparency to the opaque but critical extractives sector of Tunisia’s economy. No
2. Modernize the regulatory framework to enforce the Right to Access to Information This commitment would have a transformative impact for guaranteeing public access to information by ensuring implementation of the law on access to information. Yes
9. Elaborate a legal framework for citizens’ petitions This commitment would introduce a new channel for direct political participation of citizens by establishing the means to petition the government regarding policy decisions. No

* Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact
Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as being specific, relevant, potentially transformative, and substantially or fully implemented

PROCESS

The E-Government Unit under the Prime Minister’s office leads the process of public consultations and coordinates the implementation of OGP activities. The multi-stakeholder committee includes representatives of government, civil society, private sector and academia, and oversees development and implementation of the OGP action plan.

Who was involved?

Civil society Government
Narrow/ little governmental consultations Primarily agencies that serve other agencies Significant involvement of line ministries and agencies
Beyond “governance” civil society
Mostly “governance” civil society
No/little civil society involvement

The multi-stakeholder group was composed of eight representatives of the government, six representatives from civil society, one member from the private sector, one member from academia, and two member-observers from the parliament. All ministries and public agencies were invited to consult on development of the action plan, though the OGP process was mainly driven by executive agencies and several independent agencies.

Level of input by stakeholders

Level of Input During Development
Collaborate: There was iterative dialogue AND the public helped set the agenda
Involve: The government gave feedback on how public inputs were considered.
Consult: The public could give input
Inform: The government provided the public with information on the action plan.
No Consultation

OGP co-creation requirements

Timeline Process and Availability

Timeline and process available online prior to consultation

Yes
Advance notice

Advance notice of consultation

Yes
Awareness Raising

Government carried out awareness-raising activities

Yes
Multiple Channels

Online and in-person consultations were carried out

Yes
Documentation and Feedback

A summary of comments by government was provided

No
Regular Multi-stakeholder Forum

Did a forum exist and did it meet regularly?

Yes
Government Self-Assessment Report

Was a self-assessment report published?

Yes
Total 6 of 7
Tunisia did not act contrary to OGP process
A country is considered to have acted contrary to process if one or more of the following occurs:
·        The National Action Plan was developed with neither online or offline engagements with citizens and civil society
·        The government fails to engage with the IRM researchers in charge of the country’s Year 1 and Year 2 reports
·        The IRM report establishes that there was no progress made on implementing any of the commitments in the country’s action plan

COMMITMENT PERFORMANCE

Tunisia’s second action plan comprised 15 commitments on topics ranging from open data, youth participation, local government and implementing previously passed key legislation. The majority of commitments focused on increasing access to information, with three that had unclear relevance to OGP values. Year 1 potential impact and completion increased from the previous action plan, with one commitment assessed as transformative and two as complete.

Current Action Plan Implementation

2016–2018 Action Plan
Completed Commitments (Year 1) 2 of 15 (13%)
OGP Global Average Completion Rate (Year 1) 18%

Previous Action Plan Implementation

2014–2016 Action Plan
Completed Commitments (Year 1) 0 of 20 (0%)
Completed Commitments (Year 2) 5 of 20 (25%)

Potential Impact

2016–2018 Action Plan
Transformative Commitments 1 of 15 (7%)
OGP Global Average for Transformative Commitments 16%
2014–2016 Transformative Commitments 0 of 20 (0%)

Starred commitments

2016–2018 Action Plan
Starred Commitments (Year 1) 0 of 15 (0%)
Peak Number of Starred Commitments (All OGP Action Plans) 5
2014–2016 Starred Commitments 0 of 20 (0%)

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.     Approve the action plan by the ministerial council to ensure the engagement of the government
2.     Include commitments that directly impact service delivery to citizens
3.     Align OGP action plan with the national anti-corruption strategy and government’s ‘war against corruption’
4.     Improve co-creation during the development and implementation of the next action plan
5.     Ensure continuity and sustainability of completed projects on open data and transparency

COMMITMENT OVERVIEW

Commitment Title Well-designed * Complete Overview
1. Join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative “EITI” No No Implementation of this commitment to complete the preparatory steps for candidature to the EITI would have a moderate impact in Tunisia by increasing transparency in the extractives industry, a sensitive and opaque sector in Tunisia.
2. Modernize the regulatory framework to enforce the Right to Access to Information Yes No Commitment activities to facilitate implementation and application of the country’s access to information law would have a transformative impact, including the election of members to the Access to Information Authority, which regulates and enforces requests for information.
3. Completion of the legal and regulatory framework of open data at the national level No No Carried over and modified from the previous action plan, this commitment will develop procedures to appoint those responsible for open data within the public administration and make an inventory of the data to ensure continuous updating of open data sources from various governmental institutions.
4. Improve transparency and local government openness No No Implementation has not started on development of a practical guide and a platform for facilitating open data at the local level as a result of prioritization of municipal elections and finalization of the legal functioning of local authorities.
5. Enhance transparency in the cultural sector: “open culture” No Yes Implementation is complete with the creation of a website for publication of cultural data in open data format 2016, as well as creation of a website dedicated to cultural events and updating the website for archived sound recordings with increased content.
6. Enhance transparency in the environment and sustainable development sector No No This commitment aims to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 16 but low specificity of the activities and ambiguous intended results render no potential impact to open government and do not clearly relate to OGP values.
7. Enhance transparency in the transport sector No No This commitment aims to establish an online portal to provide access to transportation data in open data format. The action plan does not specify what information will be made available and which agencies, sectors and companies within the Transport Ministry are the intended targets.
8. Promoting financial and fiscal transparency No No Production of two annual reports, one on tax benefits and one on state-generated income from tax collection, is limited because of changes in the commitment coordinator and challenges in consolidating budget actuals. It is also unclear whether these reports will be made public or not.
9. Elaborate a legal framework for citizens’ petitions No No The Presidency of the Government has developed a draft benchmarking note to establish a mechanism for collective petitioning, which has been submitted to parliament but not yet voted on.
10. Develop an integrated electronic civil petition and corruption reporting platform (e-people) No No This commitment will develop a platform for citizens to report cases of alleged corruption, though CSOs and the Anti-Corruption Authority have expressed concern that the Presidency of the Government will have institutional ownership. Civil society participants mentioned in the action plan were not involved in implementation.
11. Develop new mechanisms to promote interaction with the youth and enable them to pursue dialogue about public policies No No To foster youth participation in public policy decision making, this commitment will develop an online platform for youth to provide feedback on public policies and pilot eight local councils with youth representation.
12. Adopt the corporate governance referential on the sectorial level No No Establishing a national corporate governance reference and training auditors and accountants on it is intended to curb corruption but the commitment as written has unclear relevance to OGP values and no potential impact for opening government.
13. Create mobile applications to reinforce transparency of government activities and participatory approach No No To improve service delivery to citizens, the E-Government Unit will develop a series of mobile ICT applications, which have been substantially completed after the first year of implementation, but the lack of specificity in the commitment activities renders an unclear relevance to OGP values.
14. Enhance access to the archive held by the National Archive institute No No Implementation has not started on developing an online portal with digitized National Archive content and a modernized indexation system, though the terms of reference have been drafted for the platform.
15. Electronic mechanism to ensure transparency of Public Servants recruitment No Yes Implementation of this commitment is complete with the launch of a website that aggregates job openings in the Tunisia public sector in summer 2016 though not all public administration bodies publish job postings on the site.

* Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact
Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as being specific, relevant, potentially transformative, and substantially or fully implemented

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