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Moldova

Participative Policy-Making Process (MD0066)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Moldova National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Justice, the Agency for Intervention and Payments for Agriculture (AIPA)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Ensuring a participative decision-making process for drafting and promoting draft normative acts and policy documents
4.1. Promoting the e-Legislation system as a new public consultation mechanism in order to involve citizens more actively in the drafting of normative acts
4.2. Implementing a communication mechanism between public institutions and potential beneficiaries of grants at the early stages of the development of annual subsidy regulations Responsible institution: Ministry of Justice, the Agency for Intervention and Payments for Agriculture (AIPA)
Supporting institution(s): None
Start date: 4th quarter 2016 End date: 1st quarter 2018

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Participative policy-making process

Commitment Text:

Title: Ensuring a participative decision-making process for drafting and promoting draft normative acts and policy documents

4.1. Promoting the e-Legislation system as a new public consultation mechanism in order to involve citizens more actively in the drafting of normative acts

4.2. Implementing a communication mechanism between public institutions and potential beneficiaries of grants at the early stages of the development of annual subsidy regulations

Responsible institution: Ministry of Justice, the Agency for Intervention and Payments for Agriculture (AIPA)

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: 4th quarter 2016 End date: 1st quarter 2018

Context and Objectives

In 2012, the Government launched a platform (particip.gov.md) to consult citizens on different legislative documents. The platform hosts public consultations on a variety of topics, and acts as a central location for information on all bills promoted by the central public authorities. However, many civil society stakeholders[Note163: D. Alaiba, CPR NGO, Skype interview, 29 December 2017; T. Savva, Expert-Grup NGO, Interview 21 December 2017.] consider that the utility of the platform is low because the platform is not adequately promoted and information is not sufficiently circulated, meaning citizens are not aware of what bill is being promoted and when. Government agencies and ministries 'post on the platform, they wait for feedback [from citizens], and when no feedback is received they complain about low participation,' says the interviewee from the Independent Press Association.[Note164: P. Macovei, API, media NGO, telephone interview, 10 January 2018.]

Additionally, there is no genuine offline consultation mechanism. According to interviewed CSO stakeholders,[Note165: A.Radu, journalist ZdG, personal communication, 20 December 2017; T. Savva, Expert-Grup NGO, personal communication, 21 December 2017.] ministries invite pro-government CSOs to public consultations but rarely invite stakeholders outside of the usual suspects. Although public consultations are always announced by the Ministry of Justice (or by any other relevant ministry), civil society and mass media[Note166: A.Radu, journalist ZdG, personal communication, 20 December 2017; D. Alaiba, personal communication, 29 December 2017; T. Savva, 21 December 2017.] believe that announcements are often short notice on purpose, limiting the participation of external stakeholders.

In 2016, the Ministry of Justice launched the pilot E-legislation system. Currently this system is only accessible to employees of central public authorities involved in the legislative process, and is not available for public comment.[Note167: The e-legislation system, http://elex.justice.gov.md/] This first commitment activity aims to improve public participation in the drafting and policy-making process by promoting the new e-legislation system.

During the development of annual subsidy regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture (AIPA) organizes consultations with farmer associations. Additionally, local/territorial associations organize discussions and consultations with the farmers and all proposed recommendations are collected and submitted to the governmental authorities. The second commitment activity aims to implement a communication mechanism between public institutions and potential beneficiaries of grants that can be utilized during this process. Both commitment activities meet the OGP value of civic participation, by providing new opportunities for the public to influence decision making.

Although the action plan unambiguously mentions the promotion of the e-legislation system as its objective, it is understood that this commitment is linked to the 2011–2016 Justice Sector Reform Strategy,[Note168: The law, http://lex.justice.md/md/341748/] which provides a specific framework for the system’s aims. As written, the goal is to 1) make all stages of the legislative procedure visible to the stakeholder and to the public; 2) make the system more effective; 3) create an efficient collaboration mechanism between stakeholders; and 4) launch a public consultation mechanism to promote active participation in the legislative process. While the commitment text does not state how the e-legislation system will interact with particip.gov.md, if at all, its activities are verifiable. Since the communication mechanism concerning annual subsidy regulations is also objectively verifiable, the overall specificity of this commitment is medium.

Overall, the potential impact for this commitment is minor. Some interviewed stakeholders[Note169: A.Radu, journalist ZdG, personal communication, 20 December 2017; T. Savva, Expert-Grup NGO, personal communication, 21 December 2017;D. Alaiba, CPR NGO, personal communication, 29 December 2017; T. Savva, Expert-Grup NGO, 21 December 2017, E. Chirilenco, European Business Association, personal communication, 22 December 2017.] stated that such a consultation mechanism would represent a major change to the current system. However, as written, it is not clear how the e-legislation system will significantly improve upon particip.gov.md without addressing the low awareness and engagement of citizens and the fact that ministries are not required to provide feedback on citizens’ input. Similarly, with regards to the second commitment activity, developing a consultation mechanism for potential beneficiaries of grants only represents an incremental change compared to AIPA’s pre-existing practice of organizing consultations with farmer associations.

Completion

Overall, the completion of this commitment is limited. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched a public tender on 13 January 2017 in order to add a public commenting function to the e-legislation system.[Note170: T. Bucur, Ministry of Justice, Center for Legal Information, personal communication, 15 January 2018.] However, no bids were submitted, thereby canceling the public procurement process. MoJ plans to re-start the tender in 2018. The IRM researcher interviewed civil society and mass media stakeholders who said they were not aware of the e-legislation system or plans to make it public.

In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry did not begin to develop a communication mechanism for public institutions and potential beneficiaries of grants. However, AIPA, the other implementing agency, launched an online chat in September 2017, which is monitored by the director of the Agency.[Note171: M. Podubnyi, Informational Technologies Department, AIPA, personal communication, 22 December 2017.] Any beneficiary can use the chat at any time; if the director is offline, messages are saved and sent to the inbox. As such, the completion for this commitment activity is also limited.

Next Steps

The IRM researcher recommends this commitment be retained in future action plans until it is fully completed. However, the formulation of the actions should be more specific and include measurable indicators. The government should include the participation of citizens and civil society in the development of the e-legislation public component concept. Once the public component has been developed, the government should organize a broad-reaching dissemination to ensure different stakeholders are aware of, and use, the e-legislation platform.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4. Participative policy-making process

Commitment Text:

Title: Ensuring a participative decision-making process for drafting and promoting draft normative acts and policy documents

4.1. Promoting the e-Legislation system as a new public consultation mechanism in order to involve citizens more actively in the drafting of normative acts

4.2. Implementing a communication mechanism between public institutions and potential beneficiaries of grants at the early stages of the development of annual subsidy regulations

Responsible Institution: Ministry of Justice, the Agency for Intervention and Payments for Agriculture (AIPA)

Supporting Institution(s): None

Start Date:   4th quarter 2016

End Date: 1st quarter 2018

Commitment Aim:

The commitment attempted to ensure the participation of the public in decisions on the drafting and promotion of bills and policy documents. Since 2012 a central platform (particip.gov.md) to consult citizens on bills put forward by public authorities’ functions in Moldova. The utility of the platform, however, is questioned by some civil society stakeholders because of the poor promotion of it, resulting in citizens being less aware of the bills put forward and the timeline for consultations. Civil society and media consider that offline consultations are often announced at short notice on purpose so that only the usual suspects (meaning there is no diversification of participants) are able to participate.

This commitment planned to develop a public module for the e-legislation system the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched for public authorities in 2016. Additionally, the Agency for Intervention and Payments for Agriculture (AIPA) planned to implement a communication mechanism between public institutions and potential beneficiaries of subsidies in the agricultural sector regarding the annual subventions regulations drafting.

Status

Midterm: Limited

During the first year of implementation, this commitment had limited completion. The MoJ did not receive any bids for the development of the public commenting function to the e-legislation system, and the public procurement process was canceled. The ministry planned to launch another public tender in 2018. Moreover, civil society and media stakeholders interviewed for the midterm report were not aware of the e-legislation system and there was no public information available on the system or the plan to develop the public commentary module. The AIPA, subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, [144] was set to develop a communication mechanism to connect public institutions and potential beneficiaries of subsidies in the agricultural sector during the drafting of annual subsidies regulations. There was no clear definition on what the mechanism should include, and due to the ambiguity of formulation it was hard to assess completion. In 2017, the agency launched an online chat, which functions as a communication channel. However, it is not restricted to the annual subsidies regulations but to any area the Agency is responsible for.

End of term: Limited

The commitment implementation status did not change at the end of term. Though a report from the MoJ [145] states that the e-legislation system is currently being tested, this is a continuation of the process started back in 2017, as detailed in the midterm report, and refers only to the intra-institutional testing [146] and not to the public commentary module. After the failed public tender process, the ministry organized a new public procurement exercise in 2018 and again received no bids. [147] Thus, there has been no progress in developing the public commenting module of the e-legislation system. A new public tender is planned to take place in 2019. [148]

It should be noted that a new law on legal acts [149] entered into force on 22 July 2018, and in Article 22, the e-Legislation system is to be used to address transparency of the law-making process by making public the information related to the different stages of drafting legislation. Article 79 of the same law states that within six months of the law’s entry into force, the government will approve the stages of connecting public authorities to e-Legislation. There are, however, no references or provisions in the law concerning the public commentary function of this system.

On the other end, AIPA has continued the use of the online chat function launched in 2017, which aims to offer beneficiaries of AIPA services (including beneficiaries of agricultural subsidies) the opportunity to contact the agency directly. Between September – November 2018 [150] there were at least 250 questions answered through this channel on topics related to the services that the agency offers, though this was unable to be verified as the channel is an internal tool. Additionally, though outside the scope of the commitment, in 2018, AIPA launched a hotline that was initially intended for corruption-related complaints and notifications. However, its scope was broadened, and agricultural producers/farmers can now inquire about any relevant information. [151] There are no statistics or other public information regarding the outcomes of this activity.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

A transparent system which would allow the public to follow and track the legal acts drafting process in real time and provide commentary to drafts at different stages, represents a good opportunity for strengthening civic participation. At the same time, since the public module of the E-legislation system development was not initiated, the limited completion of this commitment resulted in no changes related to civic participation.

As written, the communication mechanism was intended to create a civic participation opportunity for farmers and agricultural producers during the drafting of the annual regulations on subsidies. However, it was not clear what this mechanism should include. The action taken includes the creation of a new channel of communication and information through an online chat but does not necessarily provide the opportunity to input on the subsidies’ annual regulations but represents a communication channel anyone could use for any type of inquiry. In this sense, civic participation did not change.

Carried Forward?

The commitment was not taken into the next action plan. However, the government has included a commitment in the new action plan focused on strengthening the platforms and mechanisms of collaboration with civil society. The use of the e-Legislation system is now prescribed by law (law no. 100—see reference below) and thus will have to be implemented. The way in which the implementation of the public module will take place is still not clear. At the same time, civil society considers that this would represent a major change towards creating more civic participation opportunities. The IRM researcher recommends that the government identifies a solution for the development of the public module of E-legislation, which would make all stages of the legislative procedure available to the public. This system would also launch a public consultation mechanism to promote active participation in the legislative process. However, the government should clarify better how this mechanism would be different from the current platform particip.gov.md, which is currently used for public consultations during the drafting of laws.

[144] In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry was merged with other ministries to become the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment.
[145] Implementation Report no. 02/9337 of 03.08.2018 submitted by the Ministry of Justice to the State Chancellery. The report was provided to the IRM researcher by the State Chancellery’s OGP contact point in October 2018.
[147] Tatiana Bucur, Consultant, Ministry of Justice, telephone and email communication, 12-15 November 2018.
[148] Tatiana Bucur, Consultant, Ministry of Justice, telephone and email communication, 12-15 November 2018.
[149] Law no. 100 of 22 December 2017, entered into effect on 12 July 2018, http://lex.justice.md/md/373698%20/
[150] M. Podubnyi, Information Technologies Department, AIPA, telephone communication, 21 November 2018.
[151] M. Podubnyi, Information Technologies Department, AIPA, telephone communication, 21 November 2018.

Commitments

  1. Access to Information and Open Data

    MD0069, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Budget Transparency and Public Procurement

    MD0070, 2018, E-Government

  3. Civil Society Collaboration

    MD0071, 2018, E-Government

  4. Diaspora Participation

    MD0072, 2018, E-Government

  5. Accountability Mechanism

    MD0073, 2018, Audits and Controls

  6. Public Service Delivery

    MD0074, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Increase Public Procurement Transparency

    MD0061, 2016, E-Government

  8. Increase Knowledge of Public Procurement Process

    MD0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Ensure Budgetary Transparency

    MD0063, 2016, E-Government

  10. Open Data in Education Sector

    MD0064, 2016, E-Government

  11. Publish Government-Held Open Data

    MD0065, 2016, E-Government

  12. Participative Policy-Making Process

    MD0066, 2016, E-Government

  13. Public Sector Evaluation

    MD0067, 2016, Public Participation

  14. Ensure Quality of Service Delivery

    MD0068, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Improving the Government Open Data Portal

    MD0048, 2014, E-Government

  16. Setting up an Action Plan for Open Data

    MD0049, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Setting up Guidelines for Publishing Open Data.

    MD0050, 2014, Open Data

  18. Raising Awareness Among Civil Servants.

    MD0051, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  19. Civil Servant Training

    MD0052, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Government Email System

    MD0053, 2014, E-Government

  21. Auditing Public Websites

    MD0054, 2014, Audits and Controls

  22. Evaluating e-Petition Requirements.

    MD0055, 2014, E-Government

  23. Fostering Transparency at the Local Level.

    MD0056, 2014, E-Government

  24. Improving Communication at the Local Level.

    MD0057, 2014, E-Government

  25. Adopting New Public Consultations Principles.

    MD0058, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Training Civil Servants for Improved Communication

    MD0059, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Improving Online Participation Platform

    MD0060, 2014, E-Government

  28. Strengthening the Enforcement of the Regulation on Transparency

    MD0001, 2012, E-Government

  29. Semestrial Progress Reports on Transparency in Decision Making

    MD0002, 2012, E-Government

  30. Update the Module "Decision Making Transparency" on the Websites of the Central Public Authorities

    MD0003, 2012, E-Government

  31. Publish Environmental Open Data on Central Public Authorities Websites

    MD0004, 2012, Environment and Climate

  32. Develop Methodological Guide

    MD0005, 2012, Environment and Climate

  33. Amendment Regulation

    MD0006, 2012, E-Government

  34. Mandatory Use of Government e-Mail Account Electronic (Gov.Md)

    MD0007, 2012, E-Government

  35. Annual Report on Public Sector Information

    MD0008, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  36. Post Information on Draft Policies and Legislations on Www.Particip.Gov.Md

    MD0009, 2012, E-Government

  37. Development of an Online Petition Portal

    MD0010, 2012,

  38. Starred commitment Draft the Law on Public Sector Information Reuse

    MD0011, 2012, Right to Information

  39. Develop Institutional Regulations for Collecting, Archiving and Publication of Data in Digital Format in Line with National Standards

    MD0012, 2012,

  40. Developing the Public Procurement Application

    MD0013, 2012,

  41. Starred commitment Drafting the Government Decision on Implementation of Law on Public Sector Information Reuse

    MD0014, 2012,

  42. Opening Priority Data

    MD0015, 2012,

  43. Publishing the Open Government Data Catalogue

    MD0016, 2012,

  44. Expanding Government Data Portal (Www.Date.Gov.Md)

    MD0017, 2012, E-Government

  45. Mapping the Location of Public Institutions

    MD0018, 2012, E-Government

  46. Develop Applications to Launch of the Innovative Applications Development Contest

    MD0019, 2012,

  47. Implementation of Selected Apps

    MD0020, 2012,

  48. Develop National Standards for Collecting, Archiving and Publication of Data in Digital Format

    MD0021, 2012,

  49. Amend Law No. 1264- XV to Make Income and Property Declarations of Senior Officials, Judges, Prosecutors, and Civil Servants, Public

    MD0022, 2012,

  50. Develop an Online Automated Information System for Public Officials to File Income Statement

    MD0023, 2012,

  51. Develop Guidelines for Using Social Media in the Public Sector

    MD0024, 2012,

  52. Harmonize Public Relations and Communication Strategy with the Guidelines on Using Social Media

    MD0025, 2012, Capacity Building

  53. Government Presence in Social Media

    MD0026, 2012, Capacity Building

  54. Social Media in Government Training

    MD0027, 2012, Capacity Building

  55. Develop Regulation

    MD0028, 2012,

  56. Publish Documents

    MD0029, 2012, E-Government

  57. Publish Projects, Plans and Budget Proposals on Websites of Authorities

    MD0030, 2012,

  58. Starred commitment Publish Real-Time Information on State Budget Execution

    MD0031, 2012,

  59. Update Annual Database on Public Spending (BOOST) and Publish Data for 2011

    MD0032, 2012,

  60. Publish Online Realtime Income and Expenditures of Central Public Authorities

    MD0033, 2012,

  61. Opening up Data and Providing Quarterly Updates on External Assistance

    MD0034, 2012,

  62. Create an Internal Integrated Information System for Collecting Information on External Assistance

    MD0035, 2012,

  63. Develop and Launch an External Web Application to Monitor Flow of External Assistance

    MD0036, 2012,

  64. Transparent Information on Public Procurement

    MD0037, 2012,

  65. Starred commitment Develop and Launch the Electronic Information System

    MD0038, 2012,

  66. Establish a Procurement Agency Assistance Center

    MD0039, 2012,

  67. Train Public Offcials

    MD0040, 2012, Capacity Building

  68. Develop Indicators and Statistical Methodology for Transparency in e-Procurement Systems

    MD0041, 2012,

  69. Starred commitment Amend Electronic Procurement Law

    MD0042, 2012,

  70. Draft and Approve List of Public Services

    MD0043, 2012,

  71. Develop and Implement Quality Standards

    MD0044, 2012,

  72. Digitize Public Service Gradually

    MD0045, 2012,

  73. Starred commitment Human Resources Management System

    MD0046, 2012,

  74. Innovative IT Tools for Primary and Secondary Education System

    MD0047, 2012,