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Croatia

Parliamentary Transparency (HR0032)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Croatian Parliament

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Croatia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

INCREASING THE AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORK OF THE CROATIAN
PARLIAMENT
Implementation of the measure is underway until December 2018
Leader of the measure CROATIAN PARLIAMENT
Description of the measure
47
Which public issue does the measure address? The measure responds to the issue of the outdated technical aspects of the
Croatian Parliament website, its relevant presentation of information of
interest to the general public, poor search mechanisms of the content, and
access to information in open code.
What does the measure include? The measure involves improving the website of the Croatian Parliament
through technical improvements and redesign, and the addition of an
electronic voting system with the aim of simplifying multiple searches,
filtering and sorting, as well as overall better access to the content on the
Croatian Parliament website.
How does the measure contribute to resolving the
public issue?
The measure will achieve the implementation of stable search mechanisms
and integrate the contents of the Parliament website, while details of voting
records by individual members of Parliament will be published on their
personal pages.
Building up the web system will include many other new functions for
searching plenary sessions of the Parliament, its members and working
bodies, by various criteria, with the aim of simplifying access to information,
filtering and sorting data, and downloading it in open format (for example,
searching members by surname, calling, party affiliation, electoral
constituency, term of office, ballot paper, members' clubs, gender,
qualifications, education, duties, etc.). For the purpose of improving access
to information on plenary sessions, the aim is to achieve swifter, more
integrated data searches with the option to download. In terms of working
bodies, improvements will include the ability to monitor the work of a
working body according to the calendar, searching its documents more
easily, and monitoring the history of its membership, etc.
Why is this measure relevant to the values of the
Open Government Partnership?
The measure is relevant to transparency, because it improves the quality of
information published on the Croatian Parliament website and access to it
in open format, and its reuse, among other things.
Furthermore, it encourages the strengthening of mechanisms to control the
exercise of public authority on the part of the public.
Additional information The totals costs of building up the web system and redesigning the website
are around HRK 200,000, while the updating of the electronic voting system
48
will be carried out separately, as part of internal development, and will
therefore require no extra funding.
The measure is in accordance with the e-Croatia 2020 Strategy.
Activities Implementation start date Implementation end date
7.1. Improve access to the contents of the
Croatian Parliament website Underway November 2018
7.2. Building up the electronic voting system Upon adoption of the Action Plan November 2018
Contact information
Person responsible in the body which is Leader of
the measure
Jasna Vaniček Fila
Function, department Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister
Email and telephone jasna.vanicekfila@sabor.hr, +385 1 4569 444
Other
participants
involved
State participants n/a
NGOs, private sector, multilaterals,
working groups
n/a

IRM Midterm Status Summary

7. Parliamentary Transparency

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

"Measure 7. Increasing the Availability of Information about the Work of the Croatian Parliament" [57]

"The measure will achieve the implementation of stable search mechanisms and integrate the contents of the Parliament website, while details of voting records by individual members of Parliament will be published on their personal pages. Building up the web system will include many other new functions for searching plenary sessions of the Parliament, its members and working bodies, by various criteria, with the aim of simplifying access to information, filtering and sorting data, and downloading it in open format. (....) For the purpose of improving access to information on plenary sessions, the aim is to achieve swifter, more integrated data searches with the option to download. In terms of working bodies, improvements will include the ability to monitor the work of a working body according to the calendar, searching its documents more easily, and monitoring the history of its membership, etc. (…) The totals costs of building up the web system and redesigning the website are around HRK 200,000, while the updating of the electronic voting system will be carried out separately, as part of internal development, and will therefore require no extra funding."

Milestones:

7.1. Improve access to the contents of the Croatian Parliament website The Croatian Parliament website improved by building up the web system in accordance with the Act on the Right to Access Information and linked to sublegal acts, relevant EU regulations, the recommendations of the Inter-parliamentary Union on parliamentary websites, and in terms of supporting access to information which can be reused (technological utilisation, open data, open code)

  • Data on voting by each member made available
  • Simple, stable search mechanisms via xml web service implemented on the Croatian Parliament website
  • Option introduced to download video recordings of plenary sessions of the Parliament

7.2. Building up the electronic voting system

  • Building up the electronic voting system completed
  • Information on voting by all members of Parliament made available

Start date: Underway

End date: December 2018

Context and Objectives

The last major redesign of the official parliamentary webpage occurred in 2003. [58] Since then, Croatian Parliament has continuously worked developing its official web pages. From 2005 and 2007 when a new website was launched. The next systematic improvement of the web system was in 2011 and again in 2018. [59] This commitment arises from a need to align the parliamentary website with the provisions of the Act on the Right to Access Information, [60] relevant EU regulation, recommendations of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on parliamentary websites, [61] and the Open Data Policy. [62] The objective is to improve functionality and user-friendliness of the website to support access to information and reuse of data (technical use, open data, open code, etc.).

This commitment upgrades a commitment from the second OGP action plan, [63] which promised inclusion of the following functionalities in the new website: voting data for each parliamentarian, searches via XML web service, and downloadable videos of plenary sessions. The activities are specific and verifiable and will directly influence access to information, as they offer data that was previously unavailable, and it will be better organized for reuse.

Its potential impact is minor, as a lot of parliamentary information is already available on their existing website, although in a less functional and user-friendly manner. For example, technical aspects are outdated, information is not presented clearly, search functions are poor, and data is unavailable in open code. Parliament members do not have their voting records available on their webpages and parliamentary working bodies do not publish their activities, membership, or discussion.

Next steps

The IRM researcher suggests the following:

  • During the redesign, provide a clearly visible link to an archive of the old website for continuity of data;
  • Ensure API functionality in the new webpage;
  • Strive for 5th star-level of data design when publishing data for reuse; and
  • In the next action plan, Parliament could commit to publish the "legislative footprint" of each MP, linked with lobbying activities and business interests, as publicized in their declaration of assets.
[47] Editorial note: The text contained herein is the abridged version of the commitment. The full text is available at: Action Plan for Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in the Republic of Croatia up to 2020 (OGP, Dec. 2018) 44−46, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Croatia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf. [48] The translation of this activity is incorrect. The Croatian language version of the action plan states "Izraditi Zakon o zaštiti prijavitelja nepravilnosti," which means "Drafting the Act on Protection of Persons Reporting Corruption." [49] Ilijana Grgic, "VIDEO: Tko je za zakon o zviždačima? Ministarstvo protiv, Josipović i civilne udruge za" (PolitikaPlus, 26 Feb. 2014), http://www.politikaplus.com/novost/98072/Tko-je-za-Zakon-o-zvizdacima-Ministarstvo-protiv-Josipovic-i-civilne-udruge-za-. [50] Government of the Republic of Croatia, Action Plan for Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in the Republic of Croatia for the Period 2014 to 2016 (OGP, Jul. 2014), 11−12, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Action%20Plan-OGP-8-7-2014-final-ENG.pdf. [51] Croatian Parliament, Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015-2020, (Narodne novine, 9 Mar. 2015) §5.2.1 "Judiciary" (Measure 3), https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2015_03_26_545.html. [52] "Action Plan for 2017 and 2018 accompanying the Anti-Corruption Strategy from 2015-2020" (Ministry of Justice (Croatia), Jun. 2017) 21 (Activity 63), https://pravosudje.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/dokumenti/Pravo%20na%20pristup%20informacijama/Akcijski%20plan%20suzbijanja%20korupcije%202017_2018.pdf. [53] Tomislav Klauški, "Whistleblowers are the biggest victims" (Poslovni dnevnik, 29 Feb. 2008),   http://www.poslovni.hr/after5/zvizdaci-su-najvece-zrtve-72121; "# whistleblowers" (indexHR, accessed 29 Sept. 2019), https://www.index.hr/tag/114065/zvizdaci.aspx; "Whistleblowers - heroes, victims or people eager for attention?" (Trend-CSR, 22 Jan. 2018), https://blog.dnevnik.hr/trenddop/2018/01/1632123424/zvizdaci-heroji-zrtve-ili-ljudi-zeljni-paznje.html; Anamarija Burazer, "They discovered the affair: We whistle, but the problem is the slow judiciary" (24 Sata, 28 Sept. 2018), https://www.24sata.hr/news/otkrivali-su-afere-mi-zvizdimo-ali-problem-je-sporo-pravosu-e-592345; Tomislav Kukec, "A Passing Letter to the Governor Wheel 'You have drafted a law on us that endangers our lives and health" (100Posto, 2 Sept. 2018), https://100posto.hr/news/sastavili-ste-zakon-o-nama-kojima-su-zivoti-i-zdravlje-ugrozeni-jer-smo-prijavili-kriminal-a-niste-nas-ni-konzultirali; "RH lags behind region's countries in whistleblower protection" (N1 Croatia, 15 Nov. 2016), http://hr.n1info.com/Vijesti/a162122/Zvizdaci-u-Hrvatskoj.html; Ivan Pandzic, "Whistleblowers: Nothing has changed since the Lepey case" (Express, 18 Oct. 2016), https://www.express.hr/top-news/zvizdaci-nista-se-nije-promijenilo-jos-od-slucaja-lepej-7586. [54] Hina, "Parliament debated the whistleblower protection bill, not everyone is thrilled with it" (indexHR, 10 Oct. 2018), https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/sabor-raspravljao-o-zakonu-o-zastiti-zvizdaca-nisu-svi-odusevljeni-njime/2029601.aspx; VPP/Hina, "Parliamentary Opposition: The Whistleblower Protection Act is a dead letter on paper" (tportal.hr,1 Feb. 2019), https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/saborska-oporba-zakon-o-zastiti-zvizdaca-je-mrtvo-slovo-na-papiru-foto-20190201. [55] Zagreb, "Reaction to the adoption of the Law on the Protection of whistleblowers - "whistleblowers"" (Kuća ljudskih prava, 8 Feb. 2019), http://www.kucaljudskihprava.hr/2019/02/08/reakcija-povodom-usvajanja-zakona-o-zastiti-prijavitelja-nepravilnosti-zvizdaca/; see also "Label: whistleblower" (Kuća ljudskih prava, accessed 29 Sept. 2019), http://www.kucaljudskihprava.hr/tag/zvizdaci/; comments by CSOs in the e-Consultation process are available at: "Proposal of the law on Protection of the Applicant of Irregularity" (e-Savjetovanja, accessed 29 Sept. 2019), https://esavjetovanja.gov.hr/ECon/MainScreen?entityId=8250. [56] On 12 March 2019, the European Parliament and Commission agreed to dedicate EU legislation in whistleblower protection, highlighting the need for respective legislation in member states. Lucinda Pearson, "Press release: Historic day for whistleblowers as EU agrees pathbreaking legislation" (Transparency International EU, 12 Mar. 2019), https://transparency.eu/press-release-historic-day-whistleblowers/. [57] Editorial note: The text contained herein is the abridged version of the commitment. The full text is available at: Action Plan for Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in the Republic of Croatia up to 2020 (OGP, Dec. 2018) 46−49, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Croatia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf. [58] Croatian Parliament: https://web.archive.org/web/20031219190040/http:/www.sabor.hr:80/. [59] The IRM received the following comment from the Croatian Parliament during the pre-publication review period for this report. [60] Consolidated text of the law (Croatia), "Right to Information Act," Official Gazette, 25/2003, 85/2015 (Narodne novine, 9 Aug. 2015), https://www.zakon.hr/z/126/Zakon-o-pravu-na-pristup-informacijama. [61] "Guidelines for Parliamentary Websites: new edition" (Inter-Parliamentary Union, Mar. 2009), https://www.ipu.org/resources/publications/reference/2016-07/guidelines-parliamentary-websites-new-edition. [62] "Politika otvorenih podataka" (Government of the Republic of Croatia, Jul. 2018), https://rdd.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//SDURDD-dokumenti//POLITIKA%20OTVORENIH%20PODATAKA.pdf. [63] Government of the Republic of Croatia, Action Plan for Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in the Republic of Croatia for the Period 2014 to 2016 (OGP, Jul. 2014) 25−26 (Measure 9),  https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Action%20Plan-OGP-8-7-2014-final-ENG.pdf.

Commitments

  1. Implementing Right to Information

    HR0026, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0027, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Political Finance Transparency

    HR0028, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Commercial Regulations of Companies Owning Local Governments

    HR0029, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  5. Transparency in NGO Project Finance

    HR0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Protection of Persons Reporting Corruption

    HR0031, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Parliamentary Transparency

    HR0032, 2018, E-Government

  8. Media Regulations Framework

    HR0033, 2018, Civic Space

  9. Data Opening

    HR0034, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Raising Awareness About Open Data

    HR0035, 2018, Access to Information

  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

  14. Local and Regional Open Government

    HR0039, 2018, Access to Information

  15. OGP Sustainability

    HR0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  16. Right to Access Information Legislative Framework

    HR0010, 2014, Access to Information

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

    HR0011, 2014, Access to Information

  18. Starred commitment Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data

    HR0012, 2014, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

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

    HR0018, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  25. Improving Transparency of Data on Assets of Officials

    HR0019, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  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

  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 Openness

  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 Openness

  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 Openness

  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, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

  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, Fiscal Openness

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

    HR0009, 2012, E-Government

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