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France

Citizen Involvement in Cour Des Comptes (FR0048)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Cour des Comptes

Support Institution(s): High Council of Public Finance (HCFP),Budgetary and Financial Discipline Court (CDBF),andCouncilofMandatoryContributions(CPO)

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Judiciary, Justice, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: France Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Involving citizens further in the work carried out by the Cour des comptes
Lead institution(s):
Cour des comptes
Other stakeholders:
High Council of Public Finance (HCFP),Budgetary and Financial Discipline Court (CDBF),andCouncilofMandatoryContributions(CPO)
Commitment extending Commitment 5 of the 2015-2017 NAP “Involving citizens further in the work carried out by the Cour des comptes”
OGP principles with which the commitment is associated:
Access to information, participation, accountability
Challenges
Tasked by the Constitution and the law to provide free, independent and collegial assessments of the use of public funds, the Cour des comptes is one of the Republic’s key institutions. It is an independent court situated midway between Parliament and the Government, and provides assistance to both. It plays an essential role in the functioning of our democracy and transformation of public action.
The Cour’s continued efforts to open up public data, encourage analysis based on data sciences and involve citizens more closely in its work, in accordance with its principles and procedures, evidence its commitment to the French open government initiative.
Objectives
Publication of more data on financial courts and innovation in ways of involving citizens in the Court’s work.
In the context of the first National Plan for an Open Government, financial courts undertook to involve citizens more closely in their work, in particular by making available growing numbers of quantitative datasets used or produced in the context of their controls, investigations and assessments, along with data bearing on their own activities. This major commitment was an extension of initiatives already undertaken by financial courts (some of them longstanding), through publication of their work and, in 2014, making the first datasets available.
2016 and 2017 saw further opening of data, which became normal practice for financial courts, with the publication of several hundred datasets on data.gouv.fr. Two “datasessions” were held in 2016 and 2017 to encourage reuse of data. An Entrepreneur d’Intérêt Général (EIG – Entrepreneur of General Interest) spent ten months at the Court working on opening up the work carried out by financial courts to citizens.
By renewing the commitment made in the context of the 2017-2019 National Action Plan for an Open Government, the Cour des comptes seeks to continue and bolster the ongoing momentum. Wishing to ensure continuity and because the aim of the commitment made for
2015-2017 still applies, the original commitment and the two actions it encompassed have been retained in the same form.
They will be accompanied, however, by fresh or increased efforts, for example: in order to increase dissemination of certain data in an open format: diversification of
types of data and their channels of dissemination, and encouragement of its reuse;
in order to further develop citizens’ interest in the Court’s work: deployment of new ways of informing and consulting citizens, in accordance with financial courts’
principles and procedures;
the new ways of informing and consulting citizens will take account of the digital
divide and try to adapt to the various uses to which citizens may put digital tools.
The road map in detail

Disseminating certain data resulting from work carried out by financial courts in opening data, reinforcing data quality and diversification requirements at the same time;
Diversifying data dissemination channels and encouraging reuse, in particular by:
organising open events;
developing tools and applications (APIs) facilitating reuse. 2017-2019
Further developing citizens’ interest in the Court’s work, in accordance with the institution’s principles and procedures, by trying out new ways of informing and consulting citizens 2018-2019

IRM Midterm Status Summary

19. Involving citizens further in the work carried out by the Cour des Comptes

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

In the context of the first National Plan for an Open Government, financial courts undertook to involve citizens more closely in their work, in particular by making available growing numbers of quantitative datasets used or produced in the context of their controls, investigations and assessments, along with data bearing on their own activities. This major commitment was an extension of initiatives already undertaken by finan cial courts (some of them longstanding), through publication of their work and, in 2014, making the first datasets available.

2016 and 2017 saw further opening of data, which became normal practice for financial courts, with the publication of several hundred datasets on data.gouv.fr. Two “datasessions” were held in 2016 and 2017 to encourage reuse of data. An Entrepreneur d’Intérêt Général (EIG – Entrepreneur of General Interest) spent ten months at the Court working on opening up the work carried out by financial courts to citizens.

By renewing the commitment made in the context of the 2017-2019 National Action Plan for an Open Government, the Cour des comptes seeks to continue and bolster the ongoing momentum. Wishing to ensure continuity and because the aim of the commitment made for 2015-2017 still applies, the original commitment and the two actions it encompassed have been retained in the same form.

They will be accompanied, however, by fresh or increased efforts, for example:

  • in order to increase dissemination of certain data in an open format: diversification of types of data and their channels of dissemination, and encouragement of its reuse;
  • in order to further develop citizens’ interest in the Court’s work: deployment of new ways of informing and consulting citizens, in accordance with financial courts’ principles and procedures; the new ways of informing and consulting citizens will take account of the digital divide and try to adapt to the various uses to which citizens may put digital tools. [80]

Milestones

19.1 Disseminating certain data resulting from work carried out by financial courts in opening data, reinforcing data quality and diversification requirements at the same time;

Diversifying data dissemination channels and encouraging reuse, in particular by organising open events; developing tools and applications (APIs) facilitating reuse.

19.2 Further developing citizens’ interest in the Court’s work, in accordance with the institution’s principles and procedures, by trying out new ways of informing and consulting citizens

Start Date: 2018

End Date: 2019

Context and Objectives

The Cour des Comptes, France’s supreme audit institution, holds responsibility for assessing the use of public funds, auditing the state and social security accounts, and evaluating public policies. Transparency and accountability are at the core of its mission, but the institution is often perceived as complex by the general public. The Cour des Comptes has been involved and active in the government’s open government efforts since France joined the OGP. [81] Its commitment in France’s 2015–2017 action plan was only partly completed by the end of the implementation period and marginally opened government. That commitment involved opening inspection and evaluation data and involving citizens in the institution’s work. This commitment is a continuation of the previous action plan and aims to open new data, disseminate data via new channels, and experiment with new ways of informing and involving citizens.

The commitment aims to improve public access to data and information held by the Cour des Comptes and improve ways of informing and consulting citizens. Thus, the commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information and civic participation.

This commitment is not specific enough to be verifiable. The milestones read as objectives rather than concrete activities. They do not contain sufficient detail to indicate the type of information and data that the Cour des Comptes plans to open. They also do not specify the type of events the institution wants to organize and for what purpose. The milestones, too, lack specificity on the means through which the institution plans to inform and involve citizens. The commitment mentions the problem of digital inequalities (facture numérique) but does not point to any other issues that the institution plans to solve through this commitment.

This initiative would have a minor impact, given the lack of specificity and information regarding the current problem of citizen involvement. As indicated in the IRM report on the 2015–2017 action plan, there seems to be very limited reuse of the data published by the Cour des Comptes. [82] The focus thus appears to be on the data scientist community and the hosting of hackathons. [83] The importance of the Cour the Comptes in the control of the use of public funds makes its involvement in open government efforts and any additional information and data published a positive step toward more transparency.

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends that the commitment be carried on in the next action plan and that:

  • The commitment clearly specify what new data will be published and clarify the limits of usability;
  • An evaluation of the impact of the open data policy of the Cour des Comptes be carried out to inform efforts “to citizens’ interest in the Court’s work” (Milestone 19.2) and to better understand what data and dissemination channels should be prioritized;
  • The commitment text be more specific regarding how the agency plans to generate more interest from the public; and
  • The commitment text requires a mechanism allowing the public to play a more active role, such as commenting on the information published, providing feedback, and holding the Cour des Comptes as well as other agencies accountable.
[80] For a Transparent and Collaborative Government: France National Action Plan 2018–2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/France-Action-Plan-2018-2020-English.pdf (accessed on 10 January 2019).
[81] Banzet, Amélie; Bras, Mathilde; and Kahn, Victor, Etalab, interview with IRM researcher, 20 November 2018; and Heyaca, Maria-Eugenia, Cour des Comptes, email communication with IRM researcher, 18 February 2019.
[82] Sofia Wickberg, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): France End-of-Term Report 2015–2017 (Washington, DC: Open Government Partnership, 2018), pp. 95–96, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/France_End-of-Term_Report_2015-2017.pdf; and Cour des Comptes, Republique Francaise, https://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/organizations/cour-des-comptes/#datasets (accessed on 20 February 2019).
[83] Heyaca, Maria-Eugenia, Cour des Comptes, email communication with IRM researcher, 18 February 2019.

Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, E-Government

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Aid

  4. Expand Open Data

    FR0033, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improved Data Policies and Administration

    FR0034, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open Data at Sub-National Level

    FR0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. State AI Lab

    FR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Administrative Capacity-Building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline Data Flows

    FR0040, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Etat Forum

    FR0041, 2018, E-Government

  13. Online Procedures Dashboard

    FR0042, 2018, E-Government

  14. Govtech Summit

    FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. Imrove Public Consultation Mechanisms

    FR0044, 2018, E-Government

  16. International Transparency and Citizen Participation

    FR0045, 2018, Aid

  17. Public Pariticipation in Sustainable Development

    FR0046, 2018, Capacity Building

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, E-Government

  19. Citizen Involvement in Cour Des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Private Sector Transparency

    FR0049, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  21. Access to Information on Public Officials

    FR0050, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  23. Publish Municipal Council Decisions and Reports Online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish Building Permits in Open Data Format

    FR0003, 2015, Open Data

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Aid

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour Des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, E-Government

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Labor

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-It

    FR0013, 2015, Open Data

  35. Co-Produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Open Data

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Public Participation

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Judiciary

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Land & Spatial Planning

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Open Data

  41. Open Platform for Government Resources

    FR0020, 2015, E-Government

  42. Improve Public Services Through E-Government and User Interaction

    FR0021, 2015, E-Government

  43. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

    FR0022, 2015, E-Government

  44. Diversify Recruitment Within Public Institutions

    FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  45. Culture Change

    FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  46. Spread Public Innovation

    FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Protect Against Conflicts of Interest

    FR0026, 2015, Conflicts of Interest

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open Data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Open Data

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate