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Croatia

Local and Regional Open Government (HR0039)

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, COUNCIL OF THE OGP INITIATIVE

Support Institution(s): Information Commissioner, Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society, Croatian County Association, Association of Cities in the Republic of Croatia, Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia

Policy Areas

E-Government, Open Data, Subnational

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 Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERHSHIP AT THE LOCAL AND REGIONAL LEVELS
Implementation of the measure will begin upon adoption of the Action Plan and continue until 31 August 2020
Leader of the measure GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR COOPERATION WITH NGOS, COUNCIL
OF THE OGP INITIATIVE
Description of the measure
Which public issue does the measure address? Although representatives of the Association of Cities, Association of
Municipalities and Croatian County Association have been involved in the
OGP Initiative since the outset of its implementation, and there were
earlier attempts to reach the local and regional levels through the
activities of the Action Plan, these have not been particularly successful.
This is primarily due to the specific position of local and regional levels,
or rather the fact that they are self-governing areas. Therefore, this
measure plans to encourage the implementation of the OGP at these
levels, in cooperation with the organisations mentioned, and in particular,
to also encourage the opening of data and conduct of consultations at
these levels, since, with the exception of a few examples of good
practice, most local units cannot boast of results in these areas.
What does the measure include? The measure includes a pilot project to implement the OGP Initiative at
the local and regional levels, the launch of city Open Data Portals, and
the establishment of an internet system for conducting consultations with
the public at the local and regional levels. It is expected that at least five
units of local and regional self-government will implement the OGP
Initiative, that is, produce and begin to apply the Action Plan for its
implementation.
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It is also expected that at least five city Open Data Portals will be set up
and start functioning, along with a system for internet consultations. The
overall goal of the measure is to contribute to achieving the goals of the
OGP at the local and regional levels, particularly in the areas of opening
data and consultations with the public.
How does the measure contribute to resolving the public
issue?
Through the implementation of the pilot project to produce action plans
for the implementation of the OGP Initiative in five units of local and
regional self-government, the implementation of activities aimed at
achieving the goals of the initiative in these cities will be assured, and
partnerships set up between local/regional authorities and NGOs through
local councils for the implementation of the Initiative. In addition, it is
expected that the pilot project and its results will have a positive influence
on other units of local and regional self-government, in that they will also
conduct similar activities. Through activities focusing on opening data
and conducting consultations, the establishment of five city Open Data
Portals will be assured, and it is expected that other units will follow their
examples of good practice and set up their own systems for conducting
consultations, which will be integrated in the existing e-Consultations
system, where they will be able to publish their own consultations, so in
future, it is expected that all on-line consultation at all levels will be
available to citizens in one place, based on registration in the system.
The implementation of the measure will be coordinated by the Council of
the OGP Initiative, or the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs,
as the Council's expert service, with a large number of co-leaders, also
represented in the Council, and primarily with the support and
partnership of the Croatian County Association, Association of Cities and
Association of Municipalities.
Why is this measure relevant to the values of the Open
Government Partnership?
The measure is relevant to transparency, the participation of citizens and
public accountability, since it attempts to achieve the goals of the OGP at
the local and regional levels, and will have a particular effect on opening
data and conducting consultations at all levels, all of which will contribute
to the stated values of the Partnership.
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Additional information The implementation of the measure will not require the planning of any
additional resources.
The measure is in accordance with the following documents:
- National Strategy for the Creation of a Stimulating Environment
for Civil Society Development for 2012 to2016
- E-Croatia 2020 Strategy
- In addition, the measure is in accordance with efforts at the global
level of the OGP which are manifested in the implementation of
the Partnership's subnational programme.
Activities Implementation start date Implementation end date
14.1. Conducting the pilot project for the
implementation of the OGP Initiative
Upon adoption of the Action
Plan 31 August 2020
14.2. Launching city Open Data Portals Upon adoption of the Action
Plan 31 August 2020
14.3. Setting up internet systems for consultations
with the interested public at local and regional
levels
Upon adoption of the Action
Plan 31 August 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
Other participants
involved
State participants Information Commissioner, Central State Office for the Development of
the Digital Society
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NGOs, private sector,
multilaterals, working groups
Croatian County Association, Association of Cities in the Republic of
Croatia, Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia

IRM Midterm Status Summary

14. OGP at Local and Regional Levels

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

"Measure 14. Open Government Partnership at the Local and Regional Levels" [137]

"Through the implementation of the pilot project to produce action plans for the implementation of the OGP Initiative in five units of local and regional self-government, the implementation of activities aimed at achieving the goals of the initiative in these cities will be assured, and partnerships set up between local/regional authorities and NGOs through local councils for the implementation of the Initiative. In addition, it is expected that the pilot project and its results will have a positive influence on other units of local and regional self-government, in that they will also conduct similar activities. Through activities focusing on opening data and conducting consultations, the establishment of five city Open Data Portals will be assured, and it is expected that other units will follow their examples of good practice and set up their own systems for conducting consultations, which will be integrated in the existing e-Consultations system, where they will be able to publish their own consultations, so in future, it is expected that all on-line consultation at all levels will be available to citizens in one place, based on registration in the system. (…) The implementation of the measure will not require the planning of any additional resources."

Milestones:

14.1. Conducting the pilot project for the implementation of the OGP Initiative

  • Pilot project implemented in at least five units of local or regional self-government
  • Local councils set up to implement the OGP Initiative
  • At least five local action plans produced
  • Results of the implementation of local action plans

14.2. Launching city Open Data Portals

  • Public presentations of city Open Data Portals organised
  • Number of city Open Data Portals
  • Number of priority datasets published on these portals

14.3. Setting up internet systems for consultations with the interested public at local and regional levels

  • A system for consultation with the interested public for units of local and regional self-government set up within e-Consultations
  • Number of units of local and regional self-government which implement procedures for consultations via the newly established system
  • Number of consultations held with the interested public at local and regional levels

Start date: Upon adoption of the action plan

End date: 31 August 2020

Context and Objectives

This commitment reflects OGP’s initiative for stronger inclusion of local and regional authorities. [138] According to the action plan, representatives of the Association of Cities, [139] Association of Municipalities, [140] and Croatian County Association [141] have been involved in the OGP process in Croatia since the outset of its implementation. Although there were earlier attempts to reach local and regional levels through action plan commitments, these were not particularly successful. This is primarily because local and regional authorities are self-governing bodies. Therefore, the OGP Council plans to encourage OGP values at both national and local levels, in cooperation with the three organizations mentioned above, and support two nationally successful endeavors: opening data and conducting e-consultations. This is particularly important as most local governments struggle in these areas. (However, the cities of Rijeka and Pazin demonstrate a good grasp of open data concepts and several counties have embraced transparency.) [142]

The commitment includes a pilot project to implement the OGP Local Program (Milestone 14.1), launch city-level Open Data Portals (14.2), and establish an internet system for conducting public consultations at local and regional levels (14.3). The overall goal of the commitment is to achieve OGP goals at local and regional levels, emphasizing open data and e-consultations.

There are 555 [143] local self-governments (428 municipalities and 127 cities) and 20 regional self-governments (i.e., counties), a significant number for a small country with a population of just over 4 million. The legislative framework is extensive, [144] with the most important being the Local and Regional Self-Government Act. [145] The competences of each type and level of self-government vary, but they all deal with local affairs that directly address the needs of citizens. [146] The result of such fragmentation at local and regional levels is a high level of heterogeneity between units, where some are critically dependent on state subsidies and aid, and some are thriving self-sufficient economies within the national framework. [147] Consequently, developmental differences are wide and growing faster.

The commitment has specific indicators and addresses three OGP values as it ensures citizens receive equal access to rights and information from local authorities by using technology to increase participation and transparency. This commitment will have a moderate effect on the included local and regional governments in Croatia. Until now, activities in this commitment have been only sporadically conducted at local levels. This will be the first systematic attempt at introducing open data, e-consultations and the OGP Initiative at the local level in Croatia. A more profound impact would be achieved with the inclusion of a significant number of local authorities (out of 555). Both government and civil society stakeholders, agreed this commitment is ambitious and well detailed. Full implementation may be the impetus for profoundly changing how local and regional authorities’ function, particularly the five pilot governments producing local action plans.

Next steps

Based on the findings, the IRM researcher suggests that the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs and supporting institutions consider the following recommendations:

  • Remain aware of the fact that CSOs who are supporting this commitment may have more difficulties maintaining their financial and human resources than public authorities. The government could consider providing these institutions with financial support;
  • The next action plan could expand this commitment to more local and regional authorities, and transfer more technology and know-how from the national level, especially those developed through the OGP process; and
  • The next plan could introduce other important OGP content, such as open budgeting, to regional and local levels of self-government.
[137] 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) 75−79, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Croatia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf. [138] "OGP Local Program" (OGP, 2016), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/local. [139] "About us" (Association of Cities in the Republic of Croatia, accessed Mar. 2016), http://www.udruga-gradova.hr/o-udruzi/. [140] "Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia" (accessed Mar. 2019), https://udruga-opcina.hr/en/about-us. [141] "Home" (Croatian County Association, accessed Mar. 2019), http://www.hrvzz.hr/en/home?lang=en. [142] According to a survey by the Institute of Public Finance conducted from November 2015 to March 2016, counties turned out to be the most transparent units. (Hrvatska zajednica županija, Mar. 2019), http://www.hrvzz.hr/otvoreni_proracun. [143] The capital city, Zagreb, is both a city and a county, bringing the total to 576 units of local and regional self-government units in the Republic of Croatia. "Local and regional self-government" (Ministry of Administration, accessed Sept. 2019), https://uprava.gov.hr/o-ministarstvu/ustrojstvo/5-uprava-za-politicki-sustav-i-organizaciju-uprave-1075/lokalna-i-podrucna-regionalna-samouprava/842. [144] Id. [145] Consolidated text of the law (Croatia), "Law on Local and Regional Self-Government," Official Gazette 33/01 , 60/01 , 129/05 , 109/07 , 125/08 , 36/09 , 36/09 , 150/11 , 144/12 , 19/13 , 137/15 , 123/17 (Narodne novine, 13 Dec. 2017), https://www.zakon.hr/z/132/Zakon-o-lokalnoj-i-podru%C4%8Dnoj-(regionalnoj)-samoupravi. [146] "Self-government competences of municipality, city and county" (Ministry of Administration, accessed Sept. 2019), https://uprava.gov.hr/o-ministarstvu/ustrojstvo/5-uprava-za-politicki-sustav-i-organizaciju-uprave-1075/lokalna-i-podrucna-regionalna-samouprava/samoupravni-djelokrug-opcine-grada-i-zupanije/843. [147] For information on the local and regional self-government system in Croatia, visit the Institute of Public Administration (http://www.iju.hr). For information on funding for local and regional self-government, visit the Institute of Public Finance (http://www.ijf.hr). These institutes provide data, analyses, documents, articles, and recommendations for improvement (e.g., a collection of papers on the local and regional self-government system is available at: http://iju.hr/publikacije.asp?ID=1).

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