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Croatia

Improvements of Transparency and Efficiency in Public Administration Work (HR0014)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2012-2013

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Administration; Government of the Republic of Croatia, Public Relations Service; Agencies, institutes, funds and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia; Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection

Support Institution(s): State administration bodies; Ministries having competence over such legal persons; Regional self-government units, county administrative bodies/administrative bodies of the City of Zagreb competent for environmental protection

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Environment and Climate, Labor, Legislation & Regulation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

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

Starred: Yes Starred

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

Develop the e-Citizen system in components that will enable secure and advanced communication between citizens and the public sector Implementation indicators: establishment of technological solutions for the publication of information on public services for citizens (My administration, in the framework of the Central state portal), all state administration bodies have educated persons and use the components of My Administration for the release of public information, establishment of an organisation system within the state administration for regulating the components of My Administration, establishment of a basic system for electronic exchange of data in the possession of public sector bodies in one place, establishment of a user box in the framework of the Central state portal for personal access to information of that person kept by state administration bodies, number of e-services available to citizens, number of users. Publish strategic documents of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in one place. Implementation indicators: list of strategic documents adopted by the Government, with links to entire documents, published on the Central state portal. Publish annual work plans and annual reports on the work of state administration bodies, Implementation indicators: published annual work plans for all state administration bodies, with clearly listed specific goals and activities associated with public policies and strategic goals in their competent, and planned resources for their implementation, published annual reports on the work of all state administration bodies based on the monitoring of implementation of strategic plans through the process of (self-)evaluation. Increase transparency in the area of employment and advancement in the civil service, Implementation indicators: establish clear criteria and procedures for admittance and advancement in the civil service, based on competences and real needs of institutions, establishment of a well-conceived work evaluation system for civil servants that will have a direct impact on advancement, an individual professional development plan, and salaries for individual civil servants, drafted analysis of application of institutes of the right of privilege during recruitment in public administration. Increase the transparency of activity of agencies, institutes, funds and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia Implementation indicators: On the websites of agencies, institutes, funds and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia, the following are regularly published: information on their work, reports which those bodies are required to submit to the line ministries pursuant to special regulations. Publish comprehensive versions of environmental impact studies on the websites of the competent bodies Implementation indicators: proposal of amendments of relevant acts that commit public authorities to publish comprehensive versions of all conducted strategic and environmental impact studies in their area of competence on their website in a timely manner Editorial note: In order to simplify the evaluation of the milestones, milestone 5.2. and 5.3. were combined into a single one (5.2.). All subsequent milestones in the table and text below were attributed a smaller number (e.g. 5.4. instead of 5.5. as found in the action plan). Lead institutions: Ministry of Administration; Government of the Republic of Croatia, Public Relations Service; Agencies, institutes, funds and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia; Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection Supporting institutions: State administration bodies; Ministries having competence over such legal persons; Regional self-government units, county administrative bodies/administrative bodies of the City of Zagreb competent for environmental protection Start date: 1 June-2014 End date: 31 December 2014

IRM End of Term Status Summary

✪5. Improvements of Transparency and Efficiency in Public Administration Work

Commitment Text:

5.1. Develop the e-Citizen system in components that will enable secure and advanced communication between citizens and the public sector  

Implementation indicators:

  • establishment of technological solutions for the publication of information on public services for citizens (My administration, in the framework of the Central state portal)
  • all state administration bodies have educated persons and use the components of My Administration for the release of public information
  • establishment of an organisation system within the state administration for regulating the components of My Administration
  • establishment of a basic system for electronic exchange of data in the possession of public sector bodies in one place
  • establishment of a user box in the framework of the Central state portal for personal access to information of that person kept by state administration bodies
  • number of e-services available to citizens
  • number of users

Lead institutions: Ministry of Administration

Supporting institutions: State administration bodies

Start date: June 2014   End date: continuous

5.2. Publish strategic documents of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in one place

Implementation indicators: list of strategic documents adopted by the Government, with links to entire documents, published on the Central state portal

Lead institutions: Government of the Republic of Croatia, Public Relations Service

Supporting institutions: State administration bodies

Start date: June 2014   End date: continuous

5.3. Publish annual work plans and annual reports on the work of state administration bodies

Implementation indicators:

  • published annual work plans for all state administration bodies, with clearly listed specific goals and activities associated with public policies and strategic goals in their competent, and planned resources for their implementation
  • published annual reports on the work of all state administration bodies based on the monitoring of implementation of strategic plans through the process of (self-)evaluation

Lead institutions: Government of the Republic of Croatia, Public Relations Service

Supporting institutions: State administration bodies

Start date: June 2014   End date: continuous

5.4. Increase transparency in the area of employment and advancement in the civil service

Implementation indicators:

  • establish clear criteria and procedures for admittance and advancement in the civil service, based on competences and real needs of institutions
  • establishment of a well-conceived work evaluation system for civil servants that will have a direct impact on advancement, an individual professional development plan, and salaries for individual civil servants
  • drafted analysis of application of institutes of the right of privilege during recruitment in public administration

Lead institutions: Ministry of Administration

Supporting institutions: State administration bodies

Start date: Not specified   End date: June 2015

5.5. Increase the transparency of activity of agencies, institutes, funds and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia  

Implementation indicators: On the websites of agencies, institutes, funds and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia, the following are regularly published:

  • information on their work
  • reports which those bodies are required to submit to the line ministries pursuant to special regulations

Lead institutions: Agencies, institutes, funds, and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia

Supporting institutions: Ministries having competence over such legal persons

Start date: Not specified   End date: December 2014

5.6. Publish comprehensive versions of environmental impact studies on the websites of the competent bodies

Implementation indicators: proposal of amendments of relevant acts that commit public authorities to publish comprehensive versions of all conducted strategic and environmental impact studies in their area of competence on their website in a timely manner

Lead institutions: Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection

Supporting institutions: Regional self-government units, county administrative bodies/administrative bodies of the City of Zagreb competent for environmental protection

Start date: Not specified   End date: December 2014

Editorial note: In order to simplify the evaluation of the milestones, milestone 5.2 and 5.3 were combined into a single one (5.2). All subsequent milestones in the table and text below were attributed a smaller number (e.g., 5.4 instead of 5.5 as found in the action plan).

Commitment Aim:

This commitment sought to improve transparency and efficiency in the work of public administration. This would be achieved through the development of a secure and advanced platform for communication between citizens and the public sector (milestone 5.1); the publishing of strategic documents and annual work plans of state administrative bodies (5.2); increased transparency in public employment and advancement (5.3); the work of different agencies, institutes, and funds founded by the Republic of Croatia (5.4); and the publishing of environmental impact studies online (5.5).

Status

Midterm: Substantial

5.1. Develop the e-Citizen system in components that will enable secure and advanced communication between citizens and the public sector (substantial)

The e-Citizen system had been in the works for several years, and the first version of the system was launched in June 2014 as envisaged by the action plan, resulting in a substanial level of completion. Personnel from 53 public administration bodies using the portal were trained. In addition, an organisational system within the state administration responsible for the administration of the portal was established. For more information on organisational structure, the e-services available, and data on users, please refer to the IRM midterm report.

5.2. Publish strategic documents of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and annual work plans of state administration bodies in one place (substantial)

The IRM researcher found substantial implementation of this commitment within the deadline set by the action plan. In that regard, a unique location (URL) was set up where all strategic documents of the Croatian government[Note 22: Available at https://vlada.gov.hr/pristup-informacijama/strategije-planovi-i-izvjesca/14636.%5D and the ministries[Note 23: Available at https://vlada.gov.hr/pristup-informacijama/strategijeplanovi-i-izvjesca/strateski-dokumenti-vlade-rh/17683.%5D are published along with other relevant documents. However, the IRM researcher found that it was somewhat difficult to find the webpage containing the ministries’ strategic documents because the preceding webpage[Note 24: Available at https://vlada.gov.hr/pristup-informacijama/strategije-planovi-i-izvjesca/14636.%5Ddid not provide a direct link to it. Instead, only the drop-down header menu contains the link.

All government bodies also have a legal obligation to draft and publish on their home website: a) the annual work plan for the following year (the deadline for publication is 31 December of the current year) and b) the annual report for the previous year (deadline for publication is 30 April of the current year). However, the IRM researcher found it difficult to ascertain whether all the public administration bodies did this, since they each have unique websites and not all of them are user friendly. For that purpose, the researcher used the search function of the Digital Information Documentation Office’s Central Catalogue,[Note 25: Available at http://www.digured.hr/.%5D finding over 120 results when searching for “annual work plans” (for 2015) and over 70 results for “annual reports” (for 2014), depending on the search words used. It is clear that the numbers are high, but what is missing is a verification mechanism ensuring that each public administration body actually drafted its report and made it public.

5.3. Increase transparency in the area of employment and advancement in the civil service (not started)

Due to frequent reports of nepotism and corruption regarding employment and advancement in the civil service, this milestone was included in the action plan. During the midterm evaluation, the IRM researcher found that no actual implementation on this milestone was started. The work on amendments to the Civil Servant Act began in 2014. The Ministry of Administration sent the draft to state administration bodies for observation and commenting (in September 2014, January 2015, and June 2015). In accordance with the procedural provisions, each time comments and opinions were collected, the ministry prepared a draft of amendments on the Civil Servants Act. However, this only indirectly contributed to the implementation indicators stated in the action plan, as the self-assessment report does not comment on the content of the drafted law.

5.4. Increase the transparency of activity of agencies, institutes, funds, and other legal persons founded by the Republic of Croatia (limited)

During the midterm evaluation, the IRM researcher found limited implementation for this milestone, resulting in it falling behind the schedule set by the action plan. Article 12 of the Budget Act[Note 26: Available at http://www.zakon.hr/z/283/Zakon-o-prora%C4%8Dunu.%5D provides for the obligation to publish annual financial statements of budgetary and extra-budgetary users on the respective websites no later than eight days from the date of submission of the report to the competent institution. In addition to the publication of financial reports, this milestone required a provision that delegates clearly defined responsibilities to all respective competent administrative bodies to regularly and uniformly publish relevant information.

5.5. Publish comprehensive versions of environmental impact studies on the websites of the competent bodies (complete)

End of term: Substantial

There were no changes in the level of completion for any of the milestones, aside from milestone 5.3, which registered a limited level of completion. More specifically, in March 2016, the Ministry of Public Administration prepared the draft amendments to the Civil Servants Act and proposed amendments to regulation of civil service employment and advancement procedures. Both regulations contain measures that simplify and speed up the recruitment process, in addition to improving transparency. These amendments were adopted by the government and submitted to the Parliament. The Parliamentary Legislation Committee supported their adoption. On 12 May 2016, the Croatian Parliament held the first reading and debate of amendments to the Law on Civil Servants. Just before the Parliament dismissed the government in June 2016, the final draft had been submitted to the Croatian government for the second reading. Additionally, in May 2016 the information commissioner drafted and distributed to all public authorities guidelines on access to information in the implementation of public tender procedures for recruitment, selection, and appointment procedures. There is a risk that the new Croatian Parliament will not adopt the final draft of the Civil Servants Act due to the changing priorities and opinions of the new ruling majority, which might oppose the act as it was envisioned in the action plan.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Outstanding

Civic participation: Major

Public accountability: Major

Croatian citizens, prior to the implementation of these milestones, had no access to e-services and had to navigate dozens of websites in order to find strategic documents. In addition, there were cases where documents, including annual work plans, environmental impact studies, and other relevant information from public institutions, were not published. The potential impact of three milestones was transformative, while milestones 5.2 and 5.4 were marked as potentially minor. Even though limited implementation of two milestones, 5.3 and 5.4, led to no visible changes in government practices, the substantial completion of milestone 5.2 and full completion of milestone 5.5 led to marginal and major effects, respectively, with regard to disclosing information and improving opportunities for citizens to influence decisions and to hold officials to account.

However, the most impactful milestone in this commitment, and one of the most important activities envisaged in the second action plan overall, was the development of the e-Citizen system. The system had an outstanding impact in two areas and a major impact on civic participation, while using technology and innovation for transparency and accountability. According to the draft self-assessment report and IRM research, there are now 29 e-services available in the system and 57 e-mail message services that can be delivered to users through their personal user box. From its introduction to the beginning of 2016, 230,415[Note 27: According to data found on the e-Citizen webpage, there were 318,033 unique users on 5 September 2016. Available as XML at https://gov.hr/UserDocsImages//Data%20za%20datagov.hr/MURHeGradjaniStat//C_KorisniciSustavaEgradani.xml.%5D users signed up at least once for e-services. All e-services have been used a total of 4,051,354 times in the same period.[Note 28: According to data found on the e-Citizen webpage, all e-services were used 6,599,477 times by 5 September 2016. Available as XML, with a breakdown of the total number per e-service, at https://gov.hr/UserDocsImages//Data%20za%20datagov.hr/MURHeGradjaniStat//D_Koristenje_usluga.xml.%5D Personal user boxes were opened by 160,421[Note 29: According to data found on the e-Citizen webpage, the total number a personal user box was used was 2,405,584 times by 5 September 2016. Available as XML at https://gov.hr/UserDocsImages//Data%20za%20datagov.hr/MURHeGradjaniStat//D_Koristenje_usluga.xml.%5D users (12 percent of whom are using a mobile application on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone operating systems). The total number of messages sent to all users is about 4.5 million.

Also, components of the system have been adapted for use by businesses as part of a pilot e-Business project. It should be mentioned that the e-Citizens system won the best European e-Government services project award at the OGP Global Summit, held on 28 October 2015 in Mexico City, in the category “Open government for improving public services.”

Carried forward?

The next action has not been drafted or released by the government in accordance with the OGP schedule. The IRM researcher recommends further work on completing the implementation of milestones 5.3 and 5.4 in particular. Should the government continue implementation on those or other milestones in this commitment in the next action plan, the commitment should include the following components that could be achieved in a two-year span:

  • Top priorities should be establishing the meta-register system, including new electronic services from all public-sector institutions and expanding the technical solutions to other users of public services, such as CSOs, private enterprise, foreign and domestic investors, local and regional self-governments where possible, etc.;
  • The Ministry of Administration should continue basic implementation on all the envisaged implementation indicators in milestone 5.3, not just drafting legislation (existing and next action plan);
  • The OGP Council should name specific (co-)leader(s) for implementing milestone 5.4 and continue basic implementation. A clear responsible administrative body or bodies and human and financial resources need to be dedicated to this activity in the next action plan; and
  • The Ministry of Administration should analyse whether the regional self-government bodies are impementing the milestone fully and on time.

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. Starred commitment Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data

    HR0012, 2014, Capacity Building

  19. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Starred commitment 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. Starred commitment 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. Starred commitment 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