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Lithuania

Foster open public governance culture in public sector (LT0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Lithuania National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

Support Institution(s): Representatives of ministries and agencies accountable to them, representatives of municipal administrations

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, OGP, Public Participation

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: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment Often civil servants and employees fail to grasp full importance of open government and open public administration. Even those civil servants, who understand this, lack knowledge and skills as regards application of the open public administration principles. Main objective To build competencies of civil servants and employees, to foster open public administration culture, and to create a forum for cooperation between the State and municipal institutions and civil society devoted for sharing best practices in application of the open public administration principles. Brief description of commitment It is important that civil servants and employees, who deal with citizens in their daily tasks, understood well the essence and methods of open public administration, and correctly apply the principles of open public administration in their daily work. It is necessary that the State and municipal institutions had a platform for an organised cooperation with the civil society, which would help understand the essence and methods of open public administration, and create preconditions for the public institutions and civil society representatives to cooperate in their daily activities.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

7. To foster open public governance culture in public sector by introducing values of Open Government Partnership

Commitment Text:

It is important that civil servants and employees, who deal with citizens in their daily tasks, understood well the essence and methods of open public administration, and correctly apply the principles of open public administration in their daily work. It is necessary that the State and municipal institutions had a platform for an organised cooperation with the civil society, which would help understand the essence and methods of open public administration, and create preconditions for the public institutions and civil society representatives to cooperate in their daily activities.

Milestones:

7.1. Conferences and seminars with the civil society have been held.

7.2. Training for civil servants has been organised.

Responsible institution: Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania

Supporting institutions: Representatives of ministries and agencies accountable to them, representatives of municipal administrations

Start date: 31 December 2016

End date: 30 June 2018

Context and Objectives

The commitment aims to foster an open government culture in Lithuania’s public sector by strengthening the capacities of civil servants in open public administration and by creating a forum for cooperation between the civil servants and society. The challenge of fostering open government in the public sector was addressed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) experts, who acknowledged Lithuania’s efforts to promote open government, but also noted that a number of issues remain. For instance, in a 2015 report on public governance in Lithuania, the OECD recommended a set of guidelines, like 'disseminating open government principles and practices; promoting a culture of civic engagement.'[Note: 'Lithuania: Fostering Open and Inclusive Policy Making', Section 'Assessment and recommendations', page 19, OECD Public Governance Reviews, 2015, https://goo.gl/2cqac2.] A 2016 survey about policymaking by the Ministry of the Interior also showed that neither municipal council members, nor the heads of local communities think people can influence the decision-making processes in practice. Only 34 percent of Council members and 28 percent of the heads of local communities agreed with this statement.[Note: 'Participation of citizens when making decision on local level', representative survey, the Ministry of Interior, 2016. ] According to Gitana Jurjoniene, the advisor at the Office of the Government, this commitment was included in the action plan based on OECD criticism of the lack of open government culture in Lithuania’s public sector.[Note: Gitana Jurjoniene, the Office of the Government, interview by IRM researcher, 14 September 2017.]

The commitment is vaguely formulated and oriented towards achieving a process ('to foster open public administration culture') instead of tangible results. While the commitment calls for the Office of the Government to hold conferences with civil society and organize trainings for civil servants, the details of these conferences and trainings are not provided. Therefore, the specificity for the commitment is low. The Office of the Government plans to measure the change of culture by the number of officials participating in their awareness-raising events.[Note: Gitana Jurjoniene, the Office of the Government, interview by IRM researcher, 14 September 2017.] The question about the value of events and their impact is a common challenge for public sector institutions. A 2016 study showed that they do not tend to measure the impact of their events, and it is not clear what short or long-term benefits they bring.[Note: 'Better Measurement of Efficiency and Benefits of Public Sector Events While Seeking to Increase the Competitiveness of Lithuanian Economy', situation analysis, Greta Juodokaite, Ieva Cesnulaityte, 2016, https://goo.gl/xL23cD. ] Given the scope of the problem and the commitment’s objectives, holding conferences would only have a minor potential impact.

Completion

Completion of the commitment is limited and has only recently begun.

The self-assessment report notes that the Office of the Government has already organized a roundtable discussion on the current state of open government in Lithuania in June 2017.[Note: Lithuania Mid-Term Self-Assessment 2016 – 2018, OGP, 29 September 2017, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/lithuania-mid-term-self-assessment-2016-2018. ] The IRM researcher obtained an email with a registration sheet showing that 20 people participated, mainly representatives from the OGP working group and institutions responsible for the implementation of the commitments.[Note: An email received by IRM researcher, 28 September 2017.] As noted by Ieva Cesnulaityte from the Office of the Government, participants discussed the development of the action plan and its achieved results.[Note: Ieva Cesnulaityte, the Office of the Government, Online correspondence, 27 September 2017 – 28 September 2017.]

Next Steps

The commitment reflects the recommendations from the previous IRM report and addresses the guidelines provided by the OECD. As noted in the previous IRM report, Lithuania lacked open government culture in its public sector and it was recommended to 'educate their employees so that there is a shared understanding of the values and goals of OGP.'[Note: Lithuania IRM Progress Report 2014 – 2015, OGP, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Lithuania14-15_final_Eng_0.pdf, pg. 54. ] However, if the Office of the Government seeks to substantially change the attitudes of public officials, the IRM researcher recommends choosing a sample of institutions to test how effective the trainings are and using more innovative tools than roundtable discussions.

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