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Ireland

Participatory Budgeting (IE0040)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Ireland National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

Support Institution(s): National PPN Advisory Group, Local Authorities, The Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) and the County and City Managers’ Association

Policy Areas

Participation in Budget Processes, Subnational

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

To enable further citizen engagement in local authority budgeting Objective: Undertake a feasibility study on possible means of enabling further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes. Status quo: The budgetary process established under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, will be considered in the context of a further programme of local government reform and development to be undertaken pursuant to the Programme for a Partnership Government for the purpose of a report for Government and the Oireachtas by mid-2017 on potential measures to boost local government leadership and accountability, and to ensure that local government funding, structures and responsibilities strengthen local democracy. Having regard to these active considerations it is considered that the opportunity for the timely commencement of this action and the means by which further citizen engagement might be enhanced will be informed by this process. Ambition: The results of the feasibility study will inform and guide the next steps on how further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes can be facilitated. Lead implementing organisation: Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Timeline: January 2017 to December 2017.
Commitment 7: Support Public Participation Networks OGP values Civic participation, Public accountability New or ongoing commitment New Lead implementation organisations Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Other actors involved - government National PPN Advisory Group, Local Authorities, The Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) and the County and City Managers’ Association Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment New or ongoing Start date End date Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) & County and City Managers’ Association to undertake feasibility study, in consultation with key stakeholders, on enabling further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes. New January 2017 December 2017.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

7. Participatory Budgeting

Commitment Text:

Objective: Undertake a feasibility study on possible means of enabling further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes.

Status quo: The budgetary process established under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, will be considered in the context of a further programme of local government reform and development to be undertaken pursuant to the Programme for a Partnership Government for the purpose of a report for Government and the Oireachtas by mid-2017 on potential measures to boost local government leadership and accountability, and to ensure that local government funding, structures and responsibilities strengthen local democracy. Having regard to these active considerations it is considered that the opportunity for the timely commencement of this action and the means by which further citizen engagement might be enhanced will be informed by this process.

Ambition: The results of the feasibility study will inform and guide the next steps on how further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes can be facilitated.

Milestone:

7.1. Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) & County and City Managers’ Association to undertake feasibility study, in consultation with key stakeholders, on enabling further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes.

Responsible institution: Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

Supporting institutions: National PPN Advisory Group, Local Authorities, The Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) and the County and City Managers’ Association

Start date: January 2017

End date: December 2017

Context and Objectives

While Ireland is a unitary state where the Treasury is based at the central level of government, public funds spent at the local level are important because they ‘fund essential local services such as, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; maintenance and cleaning of streets and street lighting.’[Note: See the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Local Government Finance here: http://www.housing.gov.ie/local-government/administration/finance/local-government-finance. ] The Local Government Reform Act of 2014 provided for a major restructuring of the institutional structures of local government.[Note: For full details, see: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2014/si/215/made/en/pdf. ] Extending this reform, this commitment aims to bring citizens into the local authority budgetary processes by performing a feasibility study with stakeholders to examine how to enable further engagement by citizens in the budgetary process.

The feasibility study envisaged in this commitment would involve consultations with stakeholders, thus making the commitment relevant to the OGP value of civic participation. The specificity of the commitment is low; it has a clear objective to perform a feasibility study, but it does not fully outline how stakeholders will be consulted and what type and volume of evidence will be deemed sufficient to make any firm conclusions. While participatory budgeting is an important component for civic participation, a feasibility study for participatory budgeting will not, in itself, lead to greater participation. Therefore, the potential impact is marked as minor.

Completion

Implementation of this commitment has not started and is behind schedule. The government has indicated this lack of implementation in its progress report on the commitment, although it also stated that draft terms of reference have been prepared in the following broad thematic areas: understanding participatory budgeting; understanding the local authority budget process; and feasibility of participatory budgeting in an Irish local government context. Social Justice Ireland expressed concern that little progress has been made on this commitment, calling for it to be implemented as soon as possible.[Note: See: https://consult.ogpireland.ie/ga/submission/CVQ-258/observation/participatory-budgeting-must-be-expedited-promote-real-public. ] Given that the action plan has an end date of December 2017 to complete the feasibility study, the commitment is clearly behind schedule. Nor is the nature of consultations with key stakeholders fully clear from the government report—a key indicator given the wording of the milestone.

Next Steps

This commitment was carried forward from Ireland’s first action but has yet to begin. However, there is evidence of public interest in the concept of participatory budgeting, as seen in a recent open discussion in October 2017 by the Social Democrats, which examined how participatory budgeting could work.[Note: See: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/democratising-dublin-tickets-39036738937#. ] The IRM researcher recommends that if the feasibility study is not completed, the study should be carried forward into the next plan. If it is expected to be completed by the end of second year, then a modified commitment to advance legislation to guarantee citizen participation in the budgetary process is recommended for the next action plan.

IRM End of Term Status Summary


Ireland's Commitments

  1. Promote Transparent Climate Policy Development

    IE0031, 2016, Environment and Climate

  2. Support Public Participation Networks

    IE0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  3. Improve Access to Justice: Reducing Costs

    IE0033, 2016, Judiciary

  4. Improve Access to Justice: Framework to Assist Vulnerable Persons

    IE0034, 2016, Judiciary

  5. Improve Access to Justice: Oversight of Legal Practitioners

    IE0035, 2016, Justice

  6. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: General

    IE0036, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: Youth

    IE0037, 2016, Marginalized Communities

  8. Enhance Customer Engagement

    IE0038, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Improve Access To Government Services Through Technology

    IE0039, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Participatory Budgeting

    IE0040, 2016, Participation in Budget Processes

  11. Improve Transparency of Government Service Providers

    IE0041, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  12. Enhance Fiscal Transparency

    IE0042, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  13. Introduce Modern Document Management Procedures

    IE0043, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  14. Develop an Open Data Strategy 2017-2020

    IE0044, 2016, E-Government

  15. Invest in Data Infrastructure that will result in better Open Data

    IE0045, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  16. Starred commitment Develop a Code of Practice for the Governance of Charities

    IE0046, 2016,

  17. Starred commitment Public Sector Standards Bill

    IE0047, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  18. Establish a Register of Beneficial Ownership

    IE0048, 2016, Asset Disclosure

  19. Establishment of best practice standards for Open Data

    IE0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Establishment of Ireland’s Open Data Platform

    IE0002, 2014, E-Government

  21. Undertake an audit of key datasets for publication

    IE0003, 2014, Open Data

  22. Establish a roadmap for the Open Data and an evaluation framework to provide assessment of the ongoing Open Data

    IE0004, 2014, Open Data

  23. Establishment of an Open Data Ireland Governance Board (ODIGB) and Steering and Implementation Group (SIG) for Open Data Ireland

    IE0005, 2014, Open Data

  24. Signing up to the G8 Open Data Charter

    IE0006, 2014, Open Data

  25. Implementing Open Data

    IE0007, 2014, Open Data

  26. Improve computer literacy through implementation of proposed new Digital Strategy for Schools

    IE0008, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Review national and international practice to develop revised principles / code for public engagement/consultation with citizens, civil society and others by public bodies.

    IE0009, 2014, Public Participation

  28. Starred commitment Hold referenda arising from the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention

    IE0010, 2014, Gender

  29. Starred commitment Ethics Reform

    IE0011, 2014, Conflicts of Interest

  30. Strengthening Freedom of Information - Implement the Code of Practice for Freedom of Information (FOI).

    IE0012, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  31. Reform of FOI

    IE0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  32. Starred commitment Regulation of Lobbying

    IE0014, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  33. Starred commitment Encourage, Protect and Raise Awareness of Whistleblower Duties and Protections

    IE0015, 2014, Whistleblower Protections

  34. MEASURES TO INCREASE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING ON POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS. Systemic pre-legislative scrutiny of draft bills

    IE0016, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  35. Develop and deliver access to environmental information (AIE) training module for public officials

    IE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  36. INCREASE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION AT LOCAL LEVEL. Pilot approach to implementation of Public Participation Networks

    IE0018, 2014, Private Sector

  37. Provide legal base for public participation framework in local government

    IE0019, 2014, Capacity Building

  38. Undertake a feasibility study on possible means of enabling further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes

    IE0020, 2014, Participation in Budget Processes

  39. SUPPORT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AS CITIZENS. Develop, finalise and publish the first Government Strategy on children and young people's participation in decision-making.

    IE0021, 2014, Capacity Building

  40. Maximise participation and understanding of young people in civic life

    IE0022, 2014, Capacity Building

  41. Development of an ICT Strategy

    IE0023, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  42. Data sharing and governance bill

    IE0024, 2014, E-Government

  43. Public Services Card

    IE0025, 2014, E-Government

  44. Single Customer View

    IE0026, 2014, E-Government

  45. Local Government Portal

    IE0027, 2014, E-Government

  46. New Local Enterprise Offices

    IE0028, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  47. Review and enhancement of complaints procedures and using feedback to improve services across the public service; A review of citizen complaints procedures will be undertaken.

    IE0029, 2014, Public Participation

  48. Enhance customer engagement

    IE0030, 2014, Public Participation