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Lithuania

Create legal, organizational and technical tools to easily access detailed information about election and voting procedures (LT0019)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Lithuania National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Central Electoral Commission

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Justice

Policy Areas

E-Government, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Lithuania End-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment At present, there is no access to detailed information on elections and voting procedures, participation in elections, and donations to a political campaign participant. Both the society and the State and municipal institutions indicate a need to obtain and make use of this information for the purposes of their activities. Main objective To provide public access to detailed information on elections and voting procedures, participation in elections, and donations to the political campaign participants. Brief description of commitment A system will be designed and launched to provide access to detailed information on elections and voting procedures, participation in elections, and donations to a political campaign participant.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. To create legal, organizational and technical tools to easily access detailed information about election and voting procedures, participation in the elections, donations to political campaign participants

Commitment Text:

A system will be designed and launched to provide access to detailed information on elections and voting procedures, participation in elections, and donations to a political campaign participant.

Responsible institution: Central Electoral Commission

Supporting institution: Ministry of Justice

Start date: Not specified

End date: Not specified

Context and Objectives

The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) is a principle state institution responsible for organizing and conducting elections, referendums and monitoring the financing of political parties and campaigns. Although the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) described Lithuanian elections as transparent, the loopholes for monitoring financial flows remain problematic: 'the correct estimation of the value of in-kind donations and the fact that they are rarely reported remain a serious challenge for transparency of funding.'[Note: OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, 2012, available at: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/98586?download=true.] Financial statements and audit reports of political campaign financing are made public through the CEC website within 100 days following the proclamation of the final election results. However, the information on political party and campaign financing on the CEC website is difficult to find, a view shared by Kristina Ivanauskaite-Pettinari, the head of the Trainings and Communications Department at the CEC.[Note:Note: Kristina Ivanauskaite-Pettinari, Central Electoral Commission, interview by IRM researcher, 20 September 2017.]

The commitment aims to provide greater access to information on elections and voting procedures through the creation of legal, organizational, and technical tools. However, the commitment does not provide a measurable and verifiable definition of 'legal, organizational, and technical tools,' and does not define what information will be made available. Thus, it has a low specificity. Due to the lack of clarity about the outcomes, the commitment’s potential impact is marked as minor.

Completion

The Chair of the CEC Laura Matjošaityte signed 'The Concept of Opening Election Data for the Public' on 15 May 2017, and for the first time introduced a description of 'detailed data about elections.'[Note: The Concept of Opening Election Data for the Public, No. Į1-14 (1.3), 15 May 2017 (publicly not available, IRM researcher received a hard copy by request). ] The CEC used its previous experience and analyses to determine what data is in public demand but is not currently available. According to Kristina Ivanauskaite-Pettinari of the CEC, both journalists and active citizens have called the CEC after major political scandals to ask about donations to political parties or politicians, which is how the CEC determined what specific data is on demand. However, when asked by the IRM researcher about the availability of any statistics or analysis for requests, she said such information was not systemized, and that the determination for on-demand data was made without consulting other interest groups.[Note: Kristina Ivanauskaite-Pettinari, Central Electoral Commission, interview by IRM researcher, 20 September 2017.]

The CEC also proposed creating a system that would gather personal data on individual participation in the elections and citizens’ donations to the politicians. The CEC prepared a project proposal to receive financial support from the EU Structural Funds. At the time of writing this report (September 2017), CEC staff is amending its proposal based on the feedback it received from the donor.

The duration of the project is 30 months. Because the proposal is not yet approved, and it is unclear when it would start, it is already clear that the commitment will not be implemented until the end of 2018, and is thus behind schedule.

Next Steps

This commitment comes directly from the National Anti-Corruption Program for 2015–2019, a strategic long-term document that maps the areas of government most prone to corruption with exact measures and responsible institutions for each of them. The Lithuanian government made the CEC responsible to implement the commitment by the end of 2019, but the CEC coordinates its activities with the National Anti-Corruption Program rather than the OGP action plan. Therefore, the IRM researcher does not recommend carrying this commitment forward to the next action plan.

IRM End of Term Status Summary


Lithuania's Commitments

  1. open data

    LT0024, 2018, E-Government

  2. NGO database, NGO fund

    LT0025, 2018, Civic Space

  3. publish fiscal information

    LT0026, 2018, E-Government

  4. Public services by NGOs

    LT0027, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. monitoring and evlauation for public participation

    LT0028, 2018, Public Participation

  6. legislative process evaluation

    LT0029, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Build open data portal, and integrate into the European single digital market.

    LT0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  8. Publicize information about government activities and civic participation in governance.

    LT0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Publish online information about revenues and spending of national and municipal institutions

    LT0017, 2016, E-Government

  10. Create and broadcast social advertisements that target corruption in the healthcare system

    LT0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Create legal, organizational and technical tools to easily access detailed information about election and voting procedures

    LT0019, 2016, E-Government

  12. Create public consultation mechanism

    LT0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  13. Foster open public governance culture in public sector

    LT0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Creation of NGO database.

    LT0022, 2016, Civic Space

  15. Creation of NGO fund.

    LT0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Public Service Quality Improvements

    LT0007, 2014, Capacity Building

  17. Developing and Promoting E-Services

    LT0008, 2014, E-Government

  18. Encouraging Public Participation

    LT0009, 2014, E-Government

  19. Raising Civic Awareness

    LT0010, 2014, Education

  20. National Civil Society Fund Model Development

    LT0011, 2014, Civic Space

  21. Accessibility of Public Information

    LT0012, 2014, E-Government

  22. Public Decision-Making Transparency

    LT0013, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. Promoting Anti-Corruption Education

    LT0014, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  24. Increase of the accessibility of the information held by public administration authorities.

    LT0001, 2012, Records Management

  25. Centralised publishing of information on Government activities

    LT0002, 2012, Records Management

  26. More extensive public consultations

    LT0003, 2012, Public Participation

  27. Promotion of public participation in public administration processes

    LT0004, 2012, Legislature

  28. Increasing the accessibility of services provided to the public.

    LT0005, 2012, E-Government

  29. Promotion of public participation in the process for the improvement of service provision

    LT0006, 2012, Public Participation