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Bulgaria

Public Consultation Improvements (BG0060)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Bulgaria National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Administration of the Council of Ministers

Support Institution(s): Institute for Public Administration, Council for Administrative Reform, Bulgarian Centers for Non-Profit Law, Forum "Citizens Initiatives"

Policy Areas

E-Government, E-petitions, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Bulgaria End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Bulgaria Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Bulgarian government will maintain an active dialog with civil society based on innovative forms of interaction allowing for feedback and co-authorship of policy. Improving the quality of public consultation through upgrading the functionalities of the Public Consultation Portal; drafting unified standards for the selection of the members of public and consultative councils, publicity of their operation and decision – making mechanisms; development in conjunction with civil society organizations of training programs for public officials on the organization of effective public consultations, developing guidelines for citizen engagement and provision of feedback Status quo/Problem addressed: The new amendments of the Normative Acts Law introduce more detailed requirements regarding the quality of public consultations. The experience gained so far also shows that there are some shortcomings in the manner in which public consultations were organized and conducted. These weaknesses need to be addressed in order to promote more active involvement of all stakeholders and improve the quality of the end products. For this purpose it is necessary to upgrade the skill of the public officials in relation to holding public consultations while at the same time integrating the new requirements in the Public Consolations Portal as the main communication channel. Being developed in 2008 many of the Portal’s functionalities are obsolete and do not meet the expectations of the users - mainly in terms of feedback, crowdsourcing tools, search, etc. Main objective: To increase the quality of public consultations and more actively involve the stakeholders in policy-formulation and development of legislation. Ambition: Making use of new technologies to expand the scope of public consultations. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: Improving public consultation methods and procedures and enhancing the inclusion channels provides an opportunity for a greater number of stakeholders to be involved and results in increased trust in the process. The measure will increase public integrity. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers Other governmental institutions involved: Institute for Public Administration, Council for Administrative Reform Other non-governmental institutions involved: Bulgarian Center for Non-Profit Law, Forum “Citizen Initiatives” Deliverables and impact: Increased number of stakeholders taking part in public consultations; improved quality of consultations; improved internal procedures for organizing public consultations; broadened skills of the public officials to take part in and facilitate public consultations. Completion date: December 2017. Introducing an option for a national and local electronic petition and reducing red tape and the requisite data for organizing a citizen petition. Adopting the necessary amendments to the Direct Participation Act Status quo/Problem addressed: Currently the Direct Participation of Citizens Act does not provide for e-petitions for national and local initiatives. Such an option is available only for European citizen initiatives. Main objective: To mobilize citizen participation through easing the procedures for the organization of national and local citizen initiatives. Ambition: More opportunities for the citizens to influence government. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The new technologies significantly facilitate citizen selforganization towards more active involvement in the decision-making processes. The measure contributes to improving public integrity. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers Other governmental actors involved: No Other non-governmental actors involved: Bulgarian Center for Non-Profit Law, Forum “Citizen Initiatives” Deliverables and impact: Promote citizen organization and citizen initiatives; reduced bureaucratic barriers to direct citizen involvement. Completion date: June 2018. Establishment of a permanent joint mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of the OGP national action plan implementation Status quo/Problem addressed: The approach to involving the stakeholders in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the OGP national action plans of Bulgaria has not been consistent and well - structured. It relied to a large extent on the stakeholders being the pro-active part but given the low level of awareness of the initiative and the lack of a clear procedure, very few representatives of civic organizations took part in monitoring activities. Main objective: To encourage active citizen involvement and increase the quality of implementation through a structured monitoring mechanism for the OGP national action plans. Ambition: Constant improvement of the quality of implementation of the national action plans and involvement of more stakeholders in the monitoring and evaluation effort. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The establishment of a permanent joint monitoring and evaluation mechanism will increase the frequency of providing information about the implementation progress, ensure predictability of the interactions and hence promote citizen participation. The measure is aimed at improving public integrity. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers Other governmental actors involved: Ministries in charge of implementing action plan measures Other non-governmental actors involved: No Deliverables and impact: Increased transparency and accountability in the implementation of national action plans; increased number of involved stakeholders; identified and addressed implementation shortcomings; strategic approach to implementation and evaluation put in place. Completion date: October 2016. Piloting a new collaborative method (design-thinking) for analysis of complex open issues in the decision-making process relating to the EU Funds: organizing a seminar with stakeholders focused on the practical implementation of the environmental and climate policies as horizontal policies within the EU Funds management Status quo/Problem addressed: The co-design method is not widely used in Bulgaria for solving complex policy issues. Predominantly conventional approaches and tools are employed in the consultative process which are often more rigid and sometimes limit creativity and innovation. Main objective: To promote innovative consultation tools and increase the quality of policies formulated. Ambition: To foster a collaborative culture in the process of formulating and implementing policies. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The new collaborative methods of policy-making contribute to achieving better balance in the consultation process, create opportunities for more viewpoints to be presented thus stimulating citizen participation. The measure will increase public integrity and support the more effective management of public resources. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers, Central Coordination Unit Other governmental actors involved: no Other non-governmental actors involved: no Deliverables and impact: Public official acquire skills to apply the new design-thinking method for resolving complex policy issues; increased creativity and innovation in the consultative process. Completion date: December 2016

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4a.1.1 Public consultation improvements
For specifics on this commitment, please see the full report in Bulgarian or English.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership