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Croatia

Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data (HR0012)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2012-2013

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia; Information Commissioner; OGP Council; Digital Information Documentation Office

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Administration; Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries; Working group for the application of open code and open standards Digital Information Documentation Office; State Public Administration School, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Croatia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Croatia IRM Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Outstanding Outstanding

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

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

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Establish the Central state portal, http://www.gov.hr Necessary resources: HRK 200,000 Implementation indicators: Establishment of the Central state portal, with services My Administration and e-Citizen; Croatian Government and at least three-quarters of ministries and government offices keeping their websites in line with the standardised Central state portal. Issue instructions for the release and use of open data Implementation indicators: Instructions issued on the release of open data which, in accordance with Article 10 of the Act on the Right of Access to Information, interpret the “easily searchable manner” outlining the responsibility of public authorities and public servants for information, the manner of release and technical specifications, in relation to the type of datasets that will be released, and the processes of updating and controlling compliance, including legal notes. Establishment of the open data portal and continuous improvements and widening of portal contents (Editorial note: Milestone not named in the Action plan) Open the central state repository for data and release data for re-use on the portal data.gov.hr (Note: List of datasets published within the first six months of adoption of the action plan is found in the document appendix (Appendix 1)) Implementation indicators: on the portal data.gov.hr, databases are released in accordance with the issued instructions for the publication and use of open data, the number of published databases on the portal data.gov.hr, reports submitted by the Ministry of Administration and Digital Information Documentation Office to the OGP Council. Hold a public debate with the interested public on the priorities of publishing open data in regular six-month intervals, Align the priorities and draft a list of priorities for the publication of open data Implementation indicators: number of public debates held (3), drafting a list of priorities (3), number of published databases with lists of priorities. Prepare an education module on open data Implementation indicators: development of an education module on open data preparation of education materials, holding education for the first group of public servants responsible for information in public authorities, drafted education plan for public servants responsible for information. Develop instructions and a manual for the proactive publication of information Necessary resources: HRK 20,000 Implementation indicators: instructions for the proactive publication of information drafted and published, manual for the proactive publication of information drafted and published Lead institutions: Office of the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia; Information Commissioner; OGP Council; Digital Information Documentation Office Supporting institutions: Ministry of Administration; Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries; Working group for the application of open code and open standards Digital Information Documentation Office; State Public Administration School, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs Start date: Not specified, End date: 31 July, 2015

IRM End of Term Status Summary

✪3. Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data

Commitment Text:

3.1. Establish the Central state portal, http://www.gov.hr

Necessary resources: HRK 200,000  

Implementation indicators: Establishment of the Central state portal, with services My Administration and e-Citizen; Croatian Government and at least three-quarters of ministries and government offices keeping their websites in line with the standardised Central state portal.

Lead institutions: Office of the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia

Supporting institutions: Ministry of Administration; Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries

Start date: Not specified...........    End date: December 2014

3.2. Issue instructions for the release and use of open data   

Implementation indicators: Instructions issued on the release of open data which, in accordance with Article 10 of the Act on the Right of Access to Information, interpret the “easily searchable manner” outlining  the responsibility of public authorities and public servants for information, the manner of release and technical specifications, in relation to the type of datasets that will be released, and the processes of updating and controlling compliance, including legal notes

Lead institutions: Information Commissioner

Supporting institutions: Ministry of Administration; Working group for the application of open code and open standards; Digital Information Documentation Office

Start date: Not specified...........    End date: December 2014

3.3. Establishment of the open data portal and continuous improvements and widening of portal contents (Editorial note: Milestone not named in the action plan)

Open the central state repository for data and release data for re-use on the portal data.gov.hr (Note: List of datasets published within the first six months of adoption of the action plan is found in the document appendix (Appendix 1))

Implementation indicators:

  • on the portal data.gov.hr, databases are released in accordance with the issued instructions for the publication and use of open data
  • the number of published databases on the portal data.gov.hr
  • reports submitted by the Ministry of Administration and Digital Information Documentation Office to the OGP Council.

Lead institutions: Office of the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia

Supporting institutions: Ministry of Administration; Working group for the application of open code and open standards; Digital Information Documentation Office; OGP Council; Information Commissioner

Start date: Not specified...........    End date: December 2014; continuous

Hold a public debate with the interested public on the priorities of publishing open data in regular six-month intervals

Align the priorities and draft a list of priorities for the publication of open data

Implementation indicators:

  • number of public debates held (3)
  • drafting a list of priorities (3)
  • number of published databases with lists of priorities

Lead institutions: OGP Council

Supporting institutions: None specified

Start date: July 2014...................    End date: every six months

3.4. Prepare an education module on open data  

Implementation indicators:

  • development of an education module on open data
  • preparation of education materials
  • holding education for the first group of public servants responsible for information in public authorities
  • drafted education plan for public servants responsible for information

Lead institutions: Information Commissioner; Digital Information Documentation Office

Supporting institutions: State Public Administration School, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs

Start date: Not specified...........    End date: March 2015; continuous

3.5. Develop instructions and a manual for the proactive publication of information

Necessary resources: HRK 20,000

Implementation indicators:

  • instructions for the proactive publication of information drafted and published
  • manual for the proactive publication of information drafted and published

Lead institutions: Information Commissioner

Supporting institutions: Ministry of Administration

Start date: Not specified...........    End date: July 2015

Commitment Aim:

This commitment sought to improve the proactive release of data and opening data through the establishment of the central state portal (gov.hr). This commitment was carried over from the first OGP action plan, and its component, data.gov.hr, enables the searching, linking, downloading, and reusing of public-sector information for commercial and noncommercial purposes via a metadata catalogue (milestones 3.1 and 3.3). It also envisaged the adoption of provisions on the release and use of open data (milestone 3.2), the opening of the central state repository, holding public debates on the priorities for releasing data (3.3), the open data education module (3.4), and the drafting instructions and the manual for the proactive release of data (3.5). This milestone was carried over from the first year of the initiative implementation (2012–2013), when it was not implemented in the manner envisioned for unspecified technical reasons. 

Status

Midterm: Limited

3.1. Establish the central state portal, http://www.gov.hr (completed)

3.2. Issue instructions for the release and use of open data (limited)

This milestone had a limited completion rate and was behind schedule. However, according to government officials, the implementation started at the end of 2015, and the envisaged activities were to be implemented in 2016, since they directly depended on the adoption of the new legal framework and the corresponding bylaws.

3.3. Establishment of the open data portal and continuous improvements and widening of portal contents (limited)

The implementation of this milestone was limited and behind schedule. The Croatian open data portal was established on 19 March 2015[Note 11: Available at https://vlada.gov.hr/vijesti/potpredsjednica-opacic-portalom-otvorenih-podataka-data-gov-hr-dodatno-otvaramo-drzavnu-i-javnu-upravu/16571 and http://www.netokracija.com/predstavljanje-data-gov-hr-100301.] and is available at data.gov.hr. According to research conducted by the IRM researcher, there were 113 datasets available in early September 2015 at the portal[Note 12: Available at http://data.gov.hr/data/search.], none of which are the six mentioned in Appendix 1 of the action plan (although, some of them are available on other relevant public authorities’ domains). The second activity—the data.gov.hr portal—also enables all interested users to propose datasets to be published. This can be done through the e-Citizen system or via e-mail. Only one such proposal was received by 30 June 2015. In early 2016 after the period assessed by the midterm report, a futher 23 suggestions were added.[Note 13: Available at http://data.gov.hr/data-request.]

In order to respond to user demand, the action plan envisaged holding a public debate every six months for the purpose of defining priorities for data publication in the following period. A conference, a public discussion, a guest expert lecture, and other smaller meetings were held in that regard. The instructions for the release and use of open data were published on 18 June 2015.[Note 14: Available at http://data.gov.hr/sites/default/files/library/Preporukezaobjavu.pdf.]

3.4. Prepare an education module on open data (limited)

The IRM researcher found limited implementation on this milestone. The Ministry of Administration held a training seminar on open data, the first in a planned series of seminars, which was attended by 60 information officers and other employees of public authorities.[Note 15: Available at http://www.pristupinfo.hr/pregled-edukacijskih-i-promotivnih-aktivnosti-sijecanj-srpanj-2015/.] However, an educational module could only be developed after the adoption of secondary legislation related to the Act on the Right to Access Information which was expected to be passed by Februay 2016 at the latest.

3.5. Develop instructions and a manual for the proactive publication of information (limited)

Similar to milestone 3.4, the adoption of the Act on the Right to Access Information in August 2015 delayed the drafting of the first version of the manual and instructions. The information commissioner is also obliged to monitor and analyse the implementation of the act, and according to the commissioner, specialised analyses are carried out regarding the application of certain articles (Article 10) for certain groups of public authorities, which serve as the basis for drafting instructions and manuals.[Note 16: Available under Studije at http://www.pristupinfo.hr/dokumenti-i-publikacije/.]

End of term: Substantial

The gov.hr portal is set up and constantly updated with new information, and new public institutions are joining the platform—with 18 public bodies (14 out of 20 ministries and 4 out of 6 state offices) housed on the platform. According to government sources, the only concern is that each body has to finance its own transition to the portal, so other bodies may follow the example of the Ministry of Interior, which recently used student developers and open technology to build a new website affordably and separate from the gov.hr portal.

The government drafted Instructions for the release and reuse of open data, and the instructions went through a primary consultation with the responsible institutions (Ministry of Administration, Digital Information-Documentation Office), according to the information commissioner. Therefore, the IRM researcher found the implementation of milestone 3.2 to be substantial.

According to interviews with the information commissioner, representatives of the Office for Cooperation with NGOs and the draft self-assessment report the activities in milestone 3.3 were also completed at the subnational level. For example, the open data portal had almost 180 available datasets from 40 institutions (publishers) at the end of 2015. The portal was also presented at several national and international events. In February and September 2015 the information commissioner held roundtable discussions on the topic of reassessing the use of public administration information and open data (social  support and innovative economy). The discussion results were used for collecting proposals for priorities for publishing open data.[Note 17: Available at http://www.pristupinfo.hr/okrugli-stol-ponovna-uporaba-informacija-i-otvoreni-podaci-javne-uprave-potpora-drustvenom-i-inovativnom-gospodarstvu-zagreb-29-9-2015/.]

Milestone 3.4 was completed. According to the draft self-assessment report report and the Information Comissioner, in cooperation with the Ministry of Administration and the State Public Administration School, the information commissioner developed an educational module and held the three of the five and scheduled trainings in 2016. Information officers, web content managers, and public relations officers participated. Also, both to educate and encourage awareness on reuse and the priorities of open data publication, three debates were held—the first on 17 May 2016 in Zagreb and the next two on 2 and 9 June in Osijek—with about 100 participants.

According to the draft self-assessment report and the interviewed government representatives, the first version of the manual and instructions is still being drafted. The IRM researcher concluded that the completion of milestone 3.5 remains limited.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Outstanding

Civic participation: Major

Public accountability: Did not change

The Croatian government has recognized the release of open data as one of the priorities for the two-year period of the action plan. This is due to the assumption that open data contributes to a deepening democracy and strengthens the implementation of legal provisions. Innovation is boosted when the private sector uses available datasets to, for example, develop applications like providing weather information, a list and location of public services, etc. Legal provisions are strengthened because public authorities are more likely to be held accountable if it is obvious that data released are incomplete or missing, Accountability can also be increased since data released can provide a basis for a policy analysis. Thus, the inclusion of this commitment in the OGP action plan is the result of 15 years of systematic work of enthusiastic CSOs, media representatives, academia, and public officials interested in achieving openness, transparency, and effectiveness of Croatia’s democratic system.

The overall ambition of this commitment was transformative, with only milestones 3.4 and 3.5 having a moderate or no potential impact. With the exception of the last milestone’s limited completion and respective lack of influence on government practices, the first three milestones had an outstanding effect on opening government in the area of access to information. Milestone 3.4 had a marginal influence on opening government in that sense, since two educations and 3 public discussions on open data and its re-use were held with 100 participants were held during the action plan implementation. Civic participation was also majorly affected by these changes, especially by activities in milestone 3.3, since the data.gov.hr portal and discussions on priorities for release of open data both require significant participation from the interested public. CSO representatives[Note 18: Information commissioner event, 28 September 2016. See Methodological Note and http://www.pristupinfo.hr/en/povjerenik-za-etiku/.] mentioned that these changes were not easy to introduce in a country emerging from a history marked by a lack of transparency in government-citizen interactions and which still uses arcane methods of administration. However, as implemented, the commitment does not clearly include a mechanism/intervention for holding public officials accountable, and there is no clear evidence of public officials being held accountable as a result of the implementation of this commitment. 

Carried forward?

The next action has not been drafted or released by the government in accordance with the OGP schedule. The IRM researcher suggests the following steps to reach full completion of the unfinished milestones:

•  Make an effort to incorporate all state authorities in the gov.hr portal as soon as possible (allocating the necessary funds to public bodies that have yet to transfer) and to include as many datasets in the data.gov.hr portal, while making sure they are using the most favourable formats for reuse;

•  Finalise the milestones that have not been implemented during this action plan;

•  Amend the Public Procurement Act in order to ensure all IT infrastructure used by the government enables data export and connectivity;

•  Make headway into a data-driven economy by using big data technology and services, in accordance with the European Commission strategy on big data;[Note 19: Available at http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/towards-thriving-data-driven-economy.] and

•  Aside from the existing plan to fund open data use through the European Social Fund during the implementation of this action plan, in the next action plan the government may consider increasing support to the sustainability and further growth of this commitment (e.g., big data) through additional funding (state or EU funds, other donors, etc.) and increased human resources for competent public authorities (information commissioner, Ministry of Administration, Digital Information Documentation Office, etc.).


Croatia's Commitments

  1. Implementing Right to Information

    HR0026, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0027, 2018, E-Government

  3. Political Finance Transparency

    HR0028, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Commercial Regulations of Companies Owning Local Governments

    HR0029, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  5. Transparency in NGO Project Finance

    HR0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Protection of Persons Reporting Corruption

    HR0031, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Parliamentary Transparency

    HR0032, 2018, E-Government

  8. Media Regulations Framework

    HR0033, 2018, Civic Space

  9. Data Opening

    HR0034, 2018, E-Government

  10. Raising Awareness About Open Data

    HR0035, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Central State Portal

    HR0036, 2018, E-Government

  12. Public Consultations

    HR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Implementation of Anti-Corruption Policies by NGOs

    HR0038, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  14. Local and Regional Open Government

    HR0039, 2018, E-Government

  15. OGP Sustainability

    HR0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  16. Right to Access Information Legislative Framework

    HR0010, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Improving the Implementation of the Right of Access to Information Act

    HR0011, 2014, Capacity Building

  18. Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data

    HR0012, 2014, Capacity Building

  19. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Improvements of Transparency and Efficiency in Public Administration Work

    HR0014, 2014, Capacity Building

  21. Improvement of Transparency of Election and Referendum Campaigns

    HR0015, 2014, E-Government

  22. Transparency in the Area of Youth Policy

    HR0016, 2014, E-Government

  23. Media Transparency

    HR0017, 2014, Civic Space

  24. Improving Transparency of Information on Members of Parliament and Their Work

    HR0018, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  25. Improving Transparency of Data on Assets of Officials

    HR0019, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  26. Improving the Consultation Process with the Interested Public in Legislative Procedures

    HR0020, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Ensuring the Sustainability of Values and Content of the OGP Initiative

    HR0021, 2014, Capacity Building

  28. Participation in Drafting the New Anti-Corruption Strategy

    HR0022, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  29. Regulation of Lobbying

    HR0023, 2014, Capacity Building

  30. Improving Efficiency of the Ministry of Interior's Complaints Commission

    HR0024, 2014, Justice

  31. Promoting Civil Participation in the Work of Civil Society Organizations

    HR0025, 2014, Civic Space

  32. Improving the Content and Transparency of Budgetary Documents: Publish and Update the State Budget Proposal

    HR0001, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  33. Improving Transparency of Business Activity of the Companies of Special State Interest

    HR0002, 2012, Private Sector

  34. Making the Contents of All Budgetary Documents Understandable and Accessible to Citizens

    HR0003, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Improving Accessibility of Local Budget Contents to the Citizens and the Public: Give Recommendations to Local Units to Publish Budget Documents

    HR0004, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  36. Starred commitment Improving the Legislative Framework for Exercising the Right of Access to Information: Amend the Act on the Right of Access to Information

    HR0005, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Starred commitment Improving Access to Information on Expending Public Resources and Contents of Relevant Registers: Implementation of Acts on Political Activity and Campaign Financing

    HR0006, 2012, Civic Space

  38. Ensuring Transparent Work of Public Authority Bodies in the Service of Exercising Citizen Rights: Enhancement of Web Portal with Info on Exercising Rights

    HR0007, 2012, E-Government

  39. Starred commitment Setting up a System of Participatory Drafting and Monitoring of State and Local Budget Implementation: Public Discussions on Budget Allocation

    HR0008, 2012, Participation in Budget Processes

  40. Starred commitment Improving the Practice of Consulting the Interested Public in Procedures of Adopting New Laws: Amend Procedural Rules

    HR0009, 2012, E-Government