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Lithuania

Legislative Process Evaluation (LT0029)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Lithuania Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Justice

Support Institution(s): Daiva Žaromskytė-Rastenė, Adviser, Strategic Competencies Group, email: daiva.zaromskyte@lrv.lt, tel: 8 706 63 776 The plans are to consult civil society representatives and public governance experts, and the academic community.

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Legislation & Regulation, Legislature

IRM Review

IRM Report: Lithuania Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

VI. Openness to the public of the activities of public governance institutions and their public accountability
6. Introduction of ex post evaluation in a legislative process cycle
1 September 2018 – 1 September 2019
Lead implementing agency Ministry of Justice
Commitment description
Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment Recently there have been many inconsistencies in the legislative process, often with the same legislation being repeatedly amended failing to take on board the consequences caused by previous amendments. Furthermore, the national audit report by the National Audit Office of 16 March 2018 has found that the existing instrument - the monitoring of the legal regulation - is applied in a fragmented manner, the monitoring is low quality, and it is therefore necessary to move to a systematic approach as to the impact assessment of the legislation. Such a need was identified in OECD report of 29 July 2015.
Problem solution/Commitment Mainstreaming ex post evaluation in legislative process.
Main objective The aim is to create an ex post evaluation model, which will serve as the basis for specific legislative proposals.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the problem? The implementation of the provisions proposed in the draft law should result in a positive impact on the transparency of the legislative process and the quality of the decisions taken - the evidence gathered during the impact assessment of the final legal regulation would be used to decide on the need to change the existing legal regulation. Besides, a closer public participation in the evaluation process is expected to improve the quality of legislation and better reflect the interests of the population concerned.
Action and its description Expected concrete result Start date: End date:
1. Preparation of the draft law Draft law, 1 pcs 01/08/2018 30/09/2018
2. Adoption of the law Law, 1 pcs. 01/10/2018 31/12/2018
3. Preparation of preliminary methodology version Draft methodology, 1 pcs. 01/01/2019 01/05/2019
4. Completion of practical training Training of civil servants from at least 13 ministries 02/05/2019 15/09/2019
5. Methodology designed Methodology, 1 pcs. 15/09/2019 01/10/2019
How is the commitment relevant to the values of transparency, accountability and civic participation? The commitment is relevant to the improvement of the existing legislative process, as it provides for the shift from fragmented evaluation of legal regulation to systemic evaluation of its problematic areas. There are also wide opportunities to engage the public in this process.
Additional information The commitment is part of the Plan for the implementation of the Programme of the 17th Government.
Contact information
Lead implementing agency Ministry of Justice
Name, title, department of the responsible person, email and telephone number Tautginas Mickevičius,
Adviser, Legal System Unit,
email: tautginas.mickevicius@tm.lt,
tel.: 8 5 266 2859
Other ministries, departments/agencies involved Daiva Žaromskytė-Rastenė,
Adviser, Strategic Competencies Group,
email: daiva.zaromskyte@lrv.lt, tel: 8 706 63 776 What civil society organisations, private sector representatives or other stakeholders are you planning to involve in the implementation of the commitment? Do you plan to conduct a public consultation during the implementation of the commitment? The plans are to consult civil society representatives and public governance experts, and the academic community.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Introduction of ex post evaluation in a legislative process cycle

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

Recently there have been many inconsistencies in the legislative process, often with the same legislation being repeatedly amended failing to take on board the consequences caused by previous amendments. Furthermore, the national audit report by the National Audit Office of 16 March 2018 has found that the existing instrument - the monitoring of the legal regulation - is applied in a fragmented manner, the monitoring is low quality, and it is therefore necessary to move to a systematic approach as to the impact assessment of the legislation. Such a need was identified in OECD report of 29 July 2015. [33]

Milestones:

6.1. Preparation of the draft law

6.2. Adoption of the law

6.3. Preparation of preliminary methodology version

6.4. Training of civil servants from at least 13 ministries

6.5. Methodology designed

Start Date: 1 September 2018

End Date: 1 September 2019

Context and Objectives

Lithuania’s parliamentary process for approving laws suffers from several major flaws:

  • Around 700 legal drafts are registered annually, [34] a number too high for Parliament members to consider them properly and evaluate possible impacts to Lithuanian citizens and business;
  • Legal loopholes and negative impacts of legal regulation usually become apparent only after a law has alreadybeen passed. As a result, the process of amending them starts soon after the laws were passed; [35]
  • According to the National Audit Office, the lawmaking process in Lithuania involves no impact assessments; [36] and
  • Up to 50 percent of Lithuanian laws are passed under accelerated or highly accelerated procedures, [37] making it even harder for politicians to comprehensively discuss the need for legal amendments.

In other words, Parliament passes and amends laws too quickly, before the effects of the laws or previous amendments are apparent.

With this commitment, the Ministry of Justice aims to create a systematic model for evaluating laws once they are passed, before amendments are made. The action plan calls for such evaluations to happen systematically as an integral part of lawmaking. However, Tautginas Mickevicius, the advisor to the minister, clarified that the ex post evaluation would be carried out only when the regulation is new or when it is expected to greatly impact society or any interest group. [38]

In any case, Parliament members would be advised to first wait for the ex post evaluation before suggesting any amendments. According to Tautginas Mickevicius, the ministry would propose to start evaluating in the second year of implementation, but that timeline has not been confirmed. [39] The ministry also expects to stimulate civic participation by consulting and engaging citizens who would possibly be affected by the legal acts. However, the commitment does not list this as one of its specific activities.

The overall commitment is verifiable and measurable, and if implemented, it could improve how laws are passed in Lithuania. The commitment would reorganize the process of legislation and ensure legal regulation monitoring systems to avoid speedy amendments. As specified by the National Audit Office, ex post evaluations may increase the quality of laws by requiring evidence-based amendments. Such evaluations could also lead to more effective use of budgetary funds and could reduce administrative burdens both to business and the public.

Next steps

To ensure the overall success of the commitment, the IRM researcher recommends focusing not only on ex post but also on ex ante evaluations. Proper evaluations that occur before the passage of laws would stop politicians from proposing laws that do not serve the public interest or are poorly reasoned in the first place.

For this commitment to be relevant to OGP values, the IRM researcher recommends specifying how the ministry plans to engage the public. Currently, the commitment states that there are “wide opportunities to engage” citizens. This seems more like a general statement and not exact activities the ministry intends to carry out.

Also, it is highly recommended that the ministry specifies the scope of the trainings and what the Ministry of Justice plans to achieve in holding them. As learned from previous action plans, seminars or trainings alone do not guarantee any results if they do not have a clear goal in mind, exact audience, and success criteria.

[33] Full commitment text available at https://bit.ly/2HPWuXo [34] “Legislative Bakery Does Not Take Responsibility,” lzinios.lt, https://www.lzinios.lt/Lietuva/istatymu-kepykla-atsakomybes-neprisiima/262096. [35] Ibid.  [36] National Audit Office, Audit Report on Law-making Process, 2018, https://bit.ly/2FBhq0N. [37] Ibid.  [38] Tautginas Mickevicius, Ministry of Justice, interview by IRM researcher, 4 April 2019. [39] Ibid.

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

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