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Greece

Framework Law on Open & Participative Governance (GR0031)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Greece National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of the Interior and Administrative Reform – division of Administrative Reconstruction & e-Government, Alternate Minister for Reform, Deputy Secretary General

Support Institution(s): All Ministries and the entities of the Public Sector; Entities and organisations of the civil society, private sector

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance, Tax

IRM Review

IRM Report: Greece Mid-Term Report 2016-2018, Greece End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Context In Greece there is no comprehensive legal framework to regulate the open and participative governance, and despite the different actions taken in the past, an integrated strategy and its implementation is still lacking. The Clarity program, the Open Consultation and the participation in the Open Government Partnership have already significantly strengthened the functions of openness in the State, but the overall institutional framework remains weak without comprehensive and substantial provisions of a binding nature. This is why it is necessary to address these weaknesses by establishing a framework law for regulating and promoting open governance policies Commitment Description Drafting and submission of a bill to Parliament for an Open and Participative Governance in view of a comprehensive regulation of the relevant issues and the promotion of the respective policies. In summary, the main regulations which will be included in the bill, among others, are: o Public nature of meetings of municipal & regional councils and their committees, all meetings should be filmed and uploaded on the web sites of Municipalities and Regions. o Working Groups of ministries comprising representatives of associations, civil society and stakeholders, which makes more complete the functioning of each working group as it may be informed on the immediate and real impact of its proposals by the participants themselves. o Citizens’ information via electronic mail, this provides comprehensive and substantial information for all matters relating to transactions with the public service, including their respective capabilities and developments on economic and social issues of direct concern to citizens, such as taxation, social security, welfare and solidarity. o Interministerial Committee-Group on Open Governance. Its creation and operation is deemed necessary in order to ensure the institutional and substantial involvement of the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction and the public sector at large in the question of Open Governance and the fuller participation of Greece in the international organisation Open Government Partnership o Openness in the internal procedures of the State, e.g. personnel mobility, electronic procedure of issuance of acts and documents, with structures and tools enabling to visualise efficiency, thus reinforcing immediate information and accountability regarding the internal matters of the public sector. Citizens shall be aware of the changes in staff and shall monitor the efficiency of each service in the production of administrative acts. OGP Values Access to public information, Accountability, Participation, Technology and Innovation for Transparency Implementation bodies Implementation: Ministry of the Interior and Administrative Reform – division of Administrative Reconstruction & e-Government, Alternate Minister for Reform, Deputy Secretary General Stakeholders: All Ministries and the entities of the Public Sector Entities and organisations of the civil society, private sector Objective The law’s objective is to regulate comprehensively and in an integrated manner the establishment and functioning of policies for Open and Participative Governance in the Greek state. In this way the existing tools and possibilities will be interlinked with the ones that will be created in order to reinforce democratic institutions, the accountability of the State, and the participation of citizens in decision-making and implementation processes. Means for the implementation of the commitment Legislation for the submission to and adoption by the Parliament, ministerial decisions for the specification of the provisions — institutional, regulatory part. Enactment and creation of tools for the implementation of the provisions while also utilising the existing stock — technical, operational part.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 1 and 6: Regulatory Reform

Commitment 1. Framework law on Open & Participative Governance  

Commitment Text:

Drafting and submission of a bill to Parliament for an Open and Participative Governance in view of a comprehensive regulation of the relevant issues and the promotion of the respective policies.

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of the Interior and Administrative Reform- division of Administrative Reconstruction & e-Government, Alternate Minister for Reform, Deputy Secretary General

Supporting Institution(s): None

Start Date:  July 2016 End Date: March 2018

Commitment 6. Improving of the Open Deliberation procedure

Enhancement of the bill deliberation procedure in all levels (institutional, legal, operational, technical).

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of Interior & Administrative Reform – Sector of Administrative Reform & E-Government – for the regulatory framework; National School of Public Administration and Local Government.

Start Date:  July 2016 End Date: December 2017

Editorial Note: Commitment text has been abridged by the IRM. To see the full action plan, please refer to https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/greece-national-action-plan-2016-2018/

Commitment Aim:

1. Framework law on Open & Participative Governance

This commitment aimed to address a recurring theme regarding the coordination of open government policies in Greece by putting forward a binding legal mandate. At the time this commitment was adopted, the government relied on a small team within the Ministry of Administrative Reform that in most cases reported directly to the Minister.[Note 14: Nancy Routzouni, national point of contact, IRM researcher interview, 7 August 2017.] The government sought to improve the ownership of the action plan formulation and implementation by creating a new law that would encompass OGP commitment proposals by different government departments and civil society. The government also aimed to cover the day-to-day management of OGP processes, commitment implementation overview and production of self-assessment reports.[Note 15: Ibid.] A permanent multi-stakeholder forum that would facilitate a regular dialogue process and submission of comments and opinions was also considered a priority to be included in the legal text.[Note 16: Despina Mitropoulou, General Director of Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS), telephone interview with IRM researcher, 5 May 2017.]

The law would cover:

  • Open meeting rules at the subnational level;
  • Establishment of advisory, multi-stakeholder working groups at each agency;
  • Establishment of an inter-ministerial working group on governance; and
  • Digital transparency on personnel and administrative actions.

6. Improving of the Open Deliberation Procedure

This commitment aimed to improve the legal, technical and operational aspects for online consultations between ministries and citizens on draft bills. It would try to achieve this by amending the relevant legal framework on good legislative practices.[Note 17: “Improving the production rules of the legislative work and, consequently, the quality of the legislation produced”, Law 4048/2012 (in Greek), http://www.minadmin.gov.gr/?p=1803 ] At the time of the adoption of this commitment, although the existing legal framework promoted transparency and public consultation via certain processes (e.g. providing for specific stages and timeframes), it did not set specific means to address deviations from the procedure itself.

This commitment would provide guidance on how deliberation stakeholders are defined; training of government officers involved in the deliberation process; and guidelines on how public consultations should be conducted, including outlining standards for a “reasoned response” to public inputs during policy making.

Status

Commitment 1. Framework law on Open & Participative Governance

Midterm: Limited

According to the action plan timeline the law should have been passed in March 2017. By the end of the mid-term assessment period, the law preparation committee had been created and had held two discussions on the content of the law. During the midterm assessment the government had not yet presented the new law in parliament for voting and thus the commitment was behind schedule. According to the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction (MAR) OGP team,[Note 18: Nancy Routzouni, national point of contact, response to IRM researcher questionnaire, 26 September 2018.] there was insufficient inter-ministerial coordination to finalize the draft. Some ministries could not identify how to introduce the collaborative model into their operations. The MAR shared a first version of the drafted law document with the IRM researchers. However, the online public consultation and the parliamentary discussion on the draft law were still pending. For more information, please see the 2016-2018 midterm report on the Greek action plan. [Note 19: OGP, “Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report 2016–2018: Greece”, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/greece-mid-term-report-2016-2018-public-comment]

End of term: Limited

Based on the IRM researchers’ monitoring of the parliamentary website section on new legislation[Note 20: Hellenic Parliament – Submitted Draft Bills website (in Greek), https://www.hellenicparliament.gr/Nomothetiko-Ergo/Katatethenta-Nomosxedia] no draft legal act for open government was introduced. Additionally, no draft text has been made available on the online consultations website.[Note 21: Open Government Consultations website (in Greek),

 http://www.opengov.gr/home/category/consultations] According to IRM interviews carried out in June 2018 with the General Director of MAR[Note 22: Nikos Michalopoulos, General Secretary for Open Government, Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction, IRM researcher interview, 23 June 2018.], the framework law has ceased being a priority for the Ministry due to limited human resources.[Note 23:  Ibid.] Some of the work completed by the inter-ministerial team on the preparation of a legal text on open government is available online after the IRM researchers requested this.[Note 24: Greek government deliberation website (in Greek),

 http://www.opengov.gr/home/category/consultationsd IRM researchers were observing the workings of the law drafting committee] According to the national point of contact for OGP, the update of the decision on the design and drafting of legislation for the promotion of Open and Participatory Governance policies is still pending because most of the involved ministries have not yet formed the required internal open government working groups.[Note 25: Nancy Routzouni, national point of contact, response to IRM researcher questionnaire, September 2018.] For these reasons the IRM researchers consider that although some progress had been made by the end-of-term period, the completion level remained limited.

Commitment 6. Improving of the Open Deliberation Procedure

Midterm: Limited

During the midterm evaluation there was no indication that the government would put forward a plan to revise the legal framework concerning public participation in drafting laws (Law 4048/2012). The National Center for Public Administration continued to provide technical support, user training and operational coordination to public employees from all ministries involved in online public consultations.[Note 26: Dimitris Tsimaras, National Center for Public Administration, interview with IRM researcher, Athens, September 2017.] For more information, please see the 2016-2018 midterm IRM report on the Greek action plan.[Note 27: OGP, “Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report 2016–2018: Greece”, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/greece-mid-term-report-2016-2018-public-comment]

End of term: Limited

The National Center for Public Administration continues to use the pre-existing deliberation methodology. Open deliberation on draft laws takes place regularly in the opengov.gr platform. The IRM researchers reviewed recent deliberations and observed that a new mechanism to report the consultation results to participants is not yet available.[Note 28: Opengov.gr consultation platform, examples of recent consultations can be viewed (in Greek),

: http://www.opengov.gr/yyka/?p=2749 and http://www.opengov.gr/minenv/?p=9523] Transparency International Greece also indicated the lack of an online feature that provides feedback to participants regarding the consultation results.[Note 29: Dr. D. Rigopoulos, Associate at Transparency International Greece, interview with IRM researcher, Athens, 21 November 2017.] There is no evidence on the parliamentary legislation website[Note 30: Hellenic Parliament – Submitted Draft Bills (in Greek),

 https://www.hellenicparliament.gr/Nomothetiko-Ergo/Katatethenta-Nomosxedia] that MAR has moved forward with its plans to amend the regulatory framework needed to improve the process. Since there is no further government action planned to improve the open deliberation procedure the implementation of this commitment remained limited.   

Did It Open Government?

Commitment 1. Framework law on Open & Participative Governance

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Since the implementation of this commitment was limited and there was no change in the legal framework, it has not resulted in any changes in government practice on access to information and citizen participation.

Commitment 6. Improving of the Open Deliberation Procedure

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Since the implementation of this commitment was limited and there was no change —neither in the legal framework nor in the consultation guidelines— it has not resulted in any change of government practice on civic participation.

Carried Forward?

MAR representatives[Note 31: Ibid.] indicated that these commitments will not be carried forward into the next action plan. Although MAR representatives and the national point of contact had indicated to IRM researchers that a new action plan would be developed[Note 32: Ibid.], the Greek government had not released a concrete timeline at the time of writing this report. The IRM researchers recommend the government to publish the draft work carried out on the framework law on open government, to specify the necessary legal amendments and assign a timeframe for online, in person and parliamentary consultation.[Note 33: OGP, “Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report 2016–2018: Greece”, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/greece-mid-term-report-2016-2018-public-comment

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Commitments

Open Government Partnership