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Greece

Open Local Government Data (GR0072)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Greece Action Plan 2019-2022

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: National Centre for the Public Administration and Local Government

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Local Commitments, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Greece Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Commitment 8: Open access to data of the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government

Current situation
The information is now covered by Law 4305/2014 on the «Open access and re-use of documents,
information and public sector data, amendment of Law 3448/2006 (Α΄ 57), adaptation of national
legislation to the provisions of Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council,
further strengthening of the transparency, regulation of issues regarding the recruitment competition
of the National School of Public Administration and Local Government and other provisions» (Official
Gazette Α’ 237/31.10.2014), with the differentiations provided for under the Directive regarding
libraries, museums and archives, and a specific provisions regarding the protection of cultural
heritage.

Description of Commitment
A wealth of data falling within the scope of Law 4305/2014 is available to the National Centre for
Public Administration and Local Government and will be made available for re-use in order to
contribute to the development and participation of citizens.

OGP Principles
Access to public information

Implementation entities, stakeholders
Implementation: National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government

Contact details: National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government, Institute of
Documentation, Research and Innovation

Objective
1) Study on the Implementation of the Digital Repository
2) Implementation of a platform of a Digital Repository for research and studies of the public sector
3) Study on optimisation of the online consultation process
4) Integration of new datasets

Key milestones - Timetable
Milestone Completion
1) Study on the Implementation of the Digital Repository
2) Implementation of a platform of a Digital Repository for research and studies of the public sector
3) Study on optimisation of the online consultation process
4) Integration of new datasets

IRM Midterm Status Summary

8. Open access to data of the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government

Main Objective

The published NAP mentions (p.29) the main objective for this commitment as follows:

"Description of Commitment: A wealth of data falling within the scope of Law 4305/2014 is available to the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government and will be made available for re-use in order to contribute to the development and participation of citizens."

"Objectives: 1) Study on the Implementation of the Digital Repository

2) Implementation of a platform of a Digital Repository for research and studies of the public sector

3) Study on optimisation of the online consultation process

4) Integration of new datasets."

Milestones

The published NAP mentions (p.29) the milestones for this commitment as follows:

"1) Study on the Implementation of the Digital Repository

2) Implementation of a platform of a Digital Repository for research and studies of the public sector

3) Study on optimisation of the online consultation process

4) Integration of new datasets."

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Greece's action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Greece_Action-Plan_2019-2021_EN.pdf, p.29.

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Yes

Access to Information

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment analysis

The commitment aims to implement a digital repository of research and studies performed within NCPALG and the public sector and to conduct a study on optimisation of the online consultation process on the OpenGov.gr platform. It is relevant to the Access to Information OGP value because the repository will aid publication of data and information even if it is unclear exactly what information will be published. [66] Neither the commitment text nor the feedback the lead agency [67] provided gives a clear indication of intentions to act upon the proposed study on online consultation processes, so it is not relevant to the OGP Civic Participation value.

There is little evidence of datasets having been published by the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government (NCPALG). The IRM found that data.gov.gr contains more than 20 open datasets published by NCPALG as of May 2019. [68] The existing digital repository of NCPALG [69] contains some 500 items (including 40 studies on subjects like the impact of the economic crisis on the family, farming, violence against women; [70] 130 educational resources on subjects like tourist sector economic development and human rights; [71] and 330 digital analytical and academic studies on different aspects of the public administration, political system and economy [72]). Download statistics provided for educational resources amount to some 4,000–7,000 downloads for the most popular ones on topics such as gender issues and health management.

In interviews with NCPALG, the ministry explained that no studies for implementation of digital repositories already existed upon release of the action plan. NCPALG representatives explained that a digital repository for research and studies of the public sector has operated since 2012, and this repository is to be migrated to the new one once the latter is operational. The IRM did not identify reports on repository quality and user satisfaction and uptake. NCPALG mentioned the importance of datasets in terms of the institutional profile of the agency and did not mention relevant stakeholders outside the public sector being involved in the process of choosing datasets to open.

Previous reports on evaluation and/or optimisation of the online consultation process have not been identified. Still, usage statistics publicly available for the opengov.gr platform [73] report some 900 consultations and 240,000 comments as of the time of writing (July 2020), and the platform is regularly used for online consultation of new law drafts. NCPALG commented that the study (milestone 3) may address any major improvements of the online consultation mechanisms that could be affected through implementation of this commitment along with plans to increase participation in the online consultations and enhance feedback mechanisms and responsiveness.

With respect to milestone 4, NCPALG provided a list of some 220 datasets cleared for release through a decision prior to publication of the action plan. It is noted that this list was not formulated with CSO involvement and does not necessarily reflect topic areas which would be highly sought by civil society. The action is ambitious in seeking to publish the 220 datasets, but it appears that the datasets have already been determined and will not entail any further influence from civil society or public participation in implementation.

If completed, the commitment could have a minor impact. It is expected that new data will enter the public domain for the first time, and in theory, this could allow the public sector to better inform policymaking from previous research and studies. NCPALG mentioned that the previous action plan highlighted the need to define Creative Commons licenses, so these new data are expected to be available in open formats. That said, it is unclear whether actions following the study and implementation of the digital repository will lead to a refreshed website or a more substantial change in the way the repository works. Additionally, according to NCPALG's feedback, following the 2019 reform of ministry portfolios, [74] it is not clear yet which agency will be responsible for carrying out the study.

As next steps, any changes to planned implementation could consider selecting datasets to open according to citizens' priorities. That said, non-governmental stakeholder interviews have not revealed specific high-value datasets they would like to see published through this commitment's implementation. At the same time, further desktop research [75] revealed a number of topical issues for this ministry's domain of responsibility for which publishing open data would have a value and could help to improve policies and processes. An indicative example is information on alumni career paths and professional status.

[66] The commitment meets some basic requirements for this value as (a) it pertains to government-held information (milestone 2); and (b) it is not restricted to data but pertains to all information (milestone 2). Still, it is not clear whether and how the commitment meets some further basic requirements for the Access to Information value, namely(c) provide open access to information; (d) promote transparency of government decision making and carrying out of basic functions; and (e) strive to meet the 5-Star model for Open Data design.
[67] Email response to interview questions provided on May 6, 2020, by G.Chalkias, referred to by the NCPALG lead contact.
[75] Concerning Commitment 8 - Open access to data of the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government, news headlines concerning the lead Centre have been desk-searched for the 12-month period prior to action plan release, namely the period from May 2018 up to April 2019. Headline search has been run on a number of Greek investigative journalism news outlets (Protagon.gr, The Press Project, Documento, TVXS) and on the Google News service, using the following queries, respectively: https://cutt.ly/EaCOXF1 ; https://cutt.ly/7aCO2NH ; https://cutt.ly/IaCPqIx ; https://cutt.ly/taCPoJU ; and https://cutt.ly/paCPkEZ . The headlines harvested have been thematically encoded and clustered for topical issues concerning the lead centre's domain of responsibility, and the following list of identified topical issues has been produced (numbers in parentheses refer to partial with respect to total harvested results): alumni career paths and professional status (2/12); personnel recruitment calls (terms, deadlines) (4/12); student recruitment calls (terms, deadlines) (4/12); and vocational training programs (calls, terms, deadlines) (2/12). These issues are not listed in any specific order, but they all correspond to topics which (a) fall under the lead centre's domain of responsibility; (b) meet the public's interest; and (c) are often the subject of ad hoc, opaque or problematic treatment, as testified by the news harvested. In this respect, releasing open data on these topics would be useful for the public, and could bring forward a positive impact in improving the relevant processes and policies of the lead centre.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership