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Croatia

Implementation of Anti-Corruption Policies by NGOs (HR0038)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR COOPERATION WITH NGOS

Support Institution(s): Commission for Preventing Conflicts of Interest

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Civic Space

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: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

STRENGTHENING THE ABILITIES OF NGOS TO CONTRIBUTE ACTIVELY TO THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES
Implementation of the measure is underway until June 2019
Leader of the measure GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR COOPERATION WITH NGOS
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Description of the measure
Which public issue does the measure address? NGOs are important actors in the preparation, implementation and
monitoring of public policy. Corruption, or rather preventing
corruption, is a problem which the Government is tackling by
implementing action plans alongside the Anti-Corruption Strategy,
through which it recognises NGOs as important partners. In addition,
the areas of public procurement and preventing conflicts of interest
require extra efforts in order to improve procedures and increase
transparency. Also, NGOs may act in all areas as a strong corrective,
primarily by monitoring such procedures. However, in order for them
to make a more significant contribution, they need financial resources,
so by implementing this measure, resources for NGOs will be
assured, with the aim of implementing public procurement projects,
suppressing corruption, and preventing conflicts of interest.
What does the measure include? The measure includes issuing a public tender and signing contracts
for awards of non-returnable funds within OP ULJP 2014.2020 in the
area of cooperation with NGOs and local authorities, to prevent
corruption and conflicts of interest in the implementation of public
policies.
A greater number of high-quality NGO projects is expected, which will
have positive effects in these areas, and the overall aim of the
measure is to support the work of NGOs in the area of anti-corruption,
as well as increasing cooperation between NGOs and local
authorities.
How does the measure contribute to resolving the public
issue?
Through the provision of financial support for NGOs to implement
projects in the areas of public procurement, suppressing corruption
and preventing conflicts of interest, contributions will be made to
implementing the Anti-Corruption Strategy, that is, preventing
corruption in the widest sense.
Why is this measure relevant to the values of the Open
Government Partnership?
The measure is relevant to participation by citizens, since it increases
the opportunities and capacities of NGOs to participate in
implementing projects with anti-corruption effects, that is, it
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contributes to better conditions for the work of NGOs in this area.
Indirectly, and given the results of individual projects which will be
carried out within the framework of the measure, it is expected to
produce effects in terms of increasing transparency and public
accountability.
Additional information The total cost of implementing the measure is HRK 60,000,000 HRK.
The measure is in accordance with the following documents:
- Operational Programme ' Efficient Human Resources 2014-
2020'
- Action Plan - 2017 - 2018 accompanying the Anti-Corruption
Strategy 2015-2020
- Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015-2020
- Strategy for developing the public procurement system in the
Republic of Croatia
- Strategy for developing public administration 2015-2020
Activities Implementation start date Implementation end date
13.1. Issuing a public tender and signing contracts to
award non-returnable resources within OP ULJP 2014-
2020 in the area of cooperation with civil society
organisation and local authorities to prevent corruption
and conflicts of interest in the implementation of public
policies
December 2018 June 2020
Contact information
Person responsible in the body which is Leader of the
measure
Helena Beus
Function, department Director of the Office
Email and telephone helena.beus@udruge.vlada.hr, +385 1 4599 810
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Other participants
involved
State participants Commission for Preventing Conflicts of Interest

IRM Midterm Status Summary

13. Building CSO Capacity for Anti-Corruption Activities

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

"Measure 13. Strengthening the Abilities of NGOs to Contribute Actively to the Implementation of Anti-Corruption Measures" [131]

"Through the provision of financial support for NGOs to implement projects in the areas of public procurement, suppressing corruption and preventing conflicts of interest, contributions will be made to implementing the Anti-Corruption Strategy, that is, preventing corruption in the widest sense. (…) The total cost of implementing the measure is HRK 60,000,000. [132]"

Milestones:

13.1. Issuing a public tender and signing contracts to award non-returnable resources within OP ULJP 2014-2020 in the area of cooperation with civil society organisation and local authorities to prevent corruption and conflicts of interest in the implementation of public policies

  • Public tender issued
  • Number of contracts signed on awards of non-returnable funds

Start date: December 2018

End date: June 2019

Context and Objectives

With this commitment, the government will continue investing in CSO programs that contribute to anti-corruption measures at national, regional, and local levels. This commitment is part of the the Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015-2020 [133] and the accompanying Action Plan. [134]

The commitment includes a call for proposals and awarding non-returnable funds to CSOs and local authorities within the Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020 (OPEHR) [135] to prevent corruption and conflicts of interest in implementing public policies. The overall aim of the measure is to support CSOs in anti-corruption efforts, as well as to increase cooperation between CSOs and local authorities.

The commitment is specific and verifiable, and reflects the OGP value of civic participation, as it empowers CSOs to inform decision-making at regional and local levels. The commitment has a minor potential impact, as it ensures a more systematic contribution by civil society to anti-corruption efforts in Croatia. Until now, CSOs played a minor role in monitoring local authorities regarding corruption prevention. This is mostly because only a small number of CSOs have this capability and they are mostly confined to Zagreb and major cities (e.g., Split, Rijeka, and Osijek). In this regard, the commitment could increase the number of CSOs capable of undertaking such projects and ensure they are more evenly distributed at local levels. It also has potential for anti-corruption efforts by local authorities, as they lag behind national efforts.

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends that the government consider removing the condition of mandatory partnership with the local authority in which a participating CSO is founded. Croatia is too small to stump capacity building of either civil society or local and regional authorities, which would defeat the purpose of this commitment and considerably reduce the allocation of funds foreseen for this operation (this action plan). This recommendation was also voiced by several stakeholders, most notably GONG. [136]

[131] 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) 71−74, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Croatia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf. [132] The IRM researcher found inconsistencies regarding the total amount allocated for this call: the Anti-Corruption Strategy Action Plan states HRK 12,000,000; the OGP Action plan states HRK 60,000,000; and the propositions of the call state HRK 85.000.000,00 (85% EU funding, 15% state budget). [133] Croatian Parliament, Anti-Corruption Strategy from 2015-2020 (Narodne novine, 9 Mar. 2015) §5.1.7 (Measure 2), https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2015_03_26_545.html. [134] Action Plan for 2017 and 2018 accompanying the Anti-Corruption Strategy from 2015-2020 (Ministry of Justice, Jun. 2017) 19 (Activity 53), https://pravosudje.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/dokumenti/Pravo%20na%20pristup%20informacijama/Akcijski%20plan%20suzbijanja%20korupcije%202017_2018.pdf. [135] "Operational Programme Under the 'Investment for Growth and Jobs' Goal" (Croatian Government & European Commission, 2014), http://www.esf.hr/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FINAL-OP-EHR.pdf. Operational programs are detailed plans by which EU members delegate how money from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) will be spent during the programming period. They can be regional or nationwide (e.g., environment). [136] Jelena Tešija (GONG), interview by IRM researcher, 21 Feb. 2019.

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