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Moldova

Access to Information and Open Data (MD0069)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Moldova Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministries, other central administrative authorities, public institutions, State Chancellery, E-Governance Agency

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Capacity Building, E-Government, Education, Marginalized Communities, Open Data, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Moldova Design Report 2019-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

1. Ensuring access to information and promoting the use of open data by citizens
Lead implementing
agency/actor Ministries, other central administrative authorities,
public institutions, State Chancellery, E-Governance Agency
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? The commitment will address the issues related to publication of information and open data in a timely manner and publication of information about government progress across sectors. Additionally, some authorities will work on improving ways of presenting the information to the public in an interactive manner.
What is the commitment? Commitment refers to ensuring access to information and promoting the use of open data by citizens and thus, improving availability of information about Governments’ activity.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? Access to information contributes to improving public services and creates a more transparent and accountable governance. Access to open data allows individuals and organizations to develop and generate new ideas and services with social and economic impact. The commitment consists of activities aiming at improving availability and re-use of open data, access to information in some priority fields, interactive visualization of data as well as creating information systems in order to facilitate access to information to personal profile.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Access to information
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Responsible authority Deadline Progress indicators
Assessing citizens’ needs when it comes to open government data Ministries, other central administrative authorities,
public institutions, State Chancellery, E-Governance Agency Annual Number of needs-assessment surveys implemented
Publishing open data on governmental portal http://www.date.gov.md, following the open data standards Ministries, other central administrative authorities,
public institutions, State Chancellery, E-Governance Agency Annual Number of updated / published datasets
Conducting communication sessions and capability building events for open data user community on data ranging from public procurement, health, transport, social system, environment, other sectors, followed by the development of web based applications State Chancellery, Ministries, other central administrative authorities, E-Governance Agency
Annual Number of events organized,
number of participants/ trainees
Performing activities in order to ensure access to information on citizens' social rights, especially for marginalized/vulnerable groups Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection,
Medicines and Medical Devices Agency Annual Information campaigns organized,
number of advertisements performed,
Space set up for
Documentation in the institution
Updating citizens on fulfilled commitments under the Association Agreement Republic of Moldova - European Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration
Semester Published reports,
number of roundtables organized
Enhancing the transparency of the state-owned economic entities by publishing information on the results of the annual financial monitoring of the economic and financial activity of the state owned entities Ministry of Finance,
Public Property Agency
Annual Information made available on the economic and financial activity of the state-owned economic entities
Developing the Management Information System in Education by creating the possibility of interactive data visualization and completing it with data from preschool and primary schools along with data from VET sector Ministry of Education, Culture and Research Quarter IV, 2020 Functional Web interface,
number of new institutions connected to the system
Developing the interface/official page of the Agency for Interventions and Payments in Agriculture in order to ensure interactive and easy access to data on grants applicants Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment,
Agency for Intervention and Payments for Agriculture Quarter IV, 2019 Official website developed and updated
Establishing an information desk for detainees in order to facilitate access to information in their personal files Ministry of Justice, National Penitentiary Administration Quarter IV, 2020 Specifications developed,
software developed / purchased,
number of purchased equipment,
functional desk
Developing the Information System for data exchange in the field of protection of intellectual property rights (e-IPR system) State Agency for Intellectual Property, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Customs Service, Agency for Court Administration, Agency for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance Quarter II, 2019 Functional system

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. Access to information and use of open data

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: Ensuring access to information and promoting the use of open data by citizens [1]

The commitment will address the issues related to publication of information and open data in a timely manner and publication of information about government progress across sectors. Additionally, some authorities will work on improving ways of presenting the information to the public in an interactive manner.

Milestones

  • Assessing citizens’ needs when it comes to open government data
  • Publishing open data on governmental portal http://www.date.gov.md, following the open data standards
  • Conducting communication sessions and capability building events for open data user community on data ranging from public procurement, health, transport, social system, environment, other sectors, followed by the development of web based applications
  • Performing activities in order to ensure access to information on citizens' social rights, especially for marginalized/vulnerable groups
  • Updating citizens on fulfilled commitments under the Association Agreement Republic of Moldova - European Union
  • Enhancing the transparency of the state-owned economic entities by publishing information on the results of the annual financial monitoring of the economic and financial activity of the state owned entities
  • Developing the Management Information System in Education by creating the possibility of interactive data visualization and completing it with data from preschool and primary schools along with data from VET sector
  • Developing the interface/official page of the Agency for Interventions and Payments in Agriculture in order to ensure interactive and easy access to data on grants applicants
  • Establishing an information desk for detainees in order to facilitate access to information in their personal files
  • Developing the Information System for data exchange in the field of protection of intellectual property rights (e-IPR system)

Start Date: 2019              

End Date: 2020

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

1. Overall

 ✔

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

                                       

Context and Objectives

This commitment includes 10 milestones that aim to improve government practice in providing access to information and promoting the use of open data by citizens. Although access to information in Moldova is regulated by law [2], compliance with the law is weak since there is no single body responsible for its enforcement. [3] According to the law, [4] access to information can be restricted when requests involve confidential business information, state secrets, and personal data. Journalists and civil society note [5] that responses to information requests are often delayed or rejected under the Personal Data Protection Act of 2011 [6] due to highly extensive interpretations of the exceptions provided under the Act.

Moldova has a strong legal framework and infrastructure regarding open data. The country launched an open data portal (data.gov.md) in 2011, where data produced by the government is uploaded (observing the legal limitations). [7] Under commitments 3a and 3b from the third action plan (2016-2018), Moldova saw improvements in the publication of government-held data, particularly in the education sector.

Milestones 1.1 and 1.2 include assessing citizens’ specific open data needs and opening data on date.gov.md (observing open data standards), respectively. While these milestones are verifiable, they do not clarify how the needs assessment will be conducted or which data will be published in open data, considering the large amount of data that could potentially be uploaded to date.gov.md.

Furthermore, the government will conduct capacity-building events (1.3) and ensure access to information on citizens’ social rights, especially for marginalized/vulnerable groups (1.4). The Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection clarified that this is a routine activity organized by various departments of the Ministry and that “marginalized/vulnerable groups” include several categories of beneficiaries. [8] Updating citizens on the implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement (1.5) also represents a routine activity, as progress reports on its implementation are published quarterly and annually on the webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI). [9] The website http://dcfta.md/ is also used to inform the general public (especially the business community) about the advantages and benefits offered by the EU-Moldova Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), a part of the Association Agreement. This milestone represents a continuation of milestone 3.7 in Moldova’s third action plan (2016-2018), during which the MFAEI published a report in May 2018 with updates from 2017. [10] Publishing information on the results of the annual financial monitoring of the economic and financial activities of state-owned entities (1.6) also represents a routine annual activity, according to the Public Property Agency. [11]

Milestone 1.7 on continuing to develop the Education Management Information System (EMIS) [12] to include data from the vocational education and training (VET) sector can be verified. However, there are concerns among stakeholders regarding the quality and accuracy of data in the current modules of the system, which extend to the future VET module as well. [13] According to an interviewed expert, data is often corrupted, the quality of training of education institutions who enter the data is low, and there is a lack of capacity at the Ministry of Education, Research and Culture to work on this system. [14] It could contribute to improving access to this information, but the inclusion of qualitative indicators would have helped to determine its potential impact.

Milestone 1.8 focuses on developing the interface/official page of the Agency for Interventions and Payments in Agriculture (AIPA) in order to ensure easy access to data on grants applicants. According to the Head of the IT Department, M. Podubnyi, [15] this activity refers to the development of an interactive map on the AIPA webpage which will allow access to the list of grant beneficiaries per district (rayon). Though this activity could make access to information easier, it will not lead to more information being published, as the information on grants beneficiaries is already available on the AIPA's website.

The final two milestones cover the development of e-systems in their respective fields. The establishment of an information desk for detainees to facilitate access to information from their personal files (1.9) is a component of the e-folder system which was tested in 2019. This activity could allow detainees to access information without having to go through lawyers and bureaucratic steps to access the information. [16] Milestone 1.10 focuses on developing an information system for data exchange in the protection of intellectual property rights (the e-IPR system). The e-IPR system will be placed on the government’s common technology platform MCloud [17] and will integrate data from different stakeholders (police force, customs, prosecutor’s office, etc.) on a single platform. Though this data is currently available, it is spread across different databases managed by different stakeholders. The new system could improve the observation of intellectual property rights in Moldova, a commitment taken by Moldova under the EU Association Agreement Action Plan 2017-2019. [18]

The activities under this commitment could improve access to information in the different areas addressed by the milestone. However, many activities represent continuations of existing government policies and would not necessarily lead to the disclosure of more information compared to before the start of the action plan. Therefore, the overall potential impact for this commitment is considered minor.

Next steps

The IRM recommends that future action plans clearly separate activities on access to information from those on open data into separate commitments. This could help ensure better cohesion between the milestones and thus better implementation. At the same time, when milestones are taken from other government strategies or policy documents, they could be disaggregated into smaller activities that are more relevant for the action plan.

Based on the IRM findings for previous Moldovan action plans and other research in the field, [19] steps could be taken to ensure that all government agencies observe the implementation of the Law on Access to Information. Preferably, a consideration could be given to establish an oversight body to monitor how this legislation is enforced. Furthermore, the IRM researcher recommends conducting an assessment of the current situation to determine legal and practical gaps in access to information. If any gaps are determined, the next action plan could include a commitment to address them.

On open data, the IRM recommends adopting the Open Data Charter [20] to ensure public information can be accessed and re-used by the general public, experts, journalists and businesses. The government could consider conducting a technical assessment to ensure filters and information displays are functioning properly on data.gov.md. Additionally, the IRM recommends tasking one entity to coordinate the open data strategy among all government agencies and ministries. Each institution is currently responsible for publishing their own datasets, but the list of datasets to be opened is not always available or clear. Lastly, the IRM recommends the government conduct an open data user needs assessment in order to decide upon a standardized, user-friendly format for publishing data.


[1] OGP, Moldova Action Plan 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-action-plan-2018-2020

[2] Law on Access to Information No. 982 of 11.05.2000 with amendments, http://lex.justice.md/md/311759/

[3] Freedom House, Moldova Stakeholder Universal Periodic Review, https://freedomhouse.org/article/moldova-stakeholder-submission-universal-periodic-review

[4] Law on Access to Information No. 982 of 11.05.2000 with amendments, http://lex.justice.md/md/311759/

[5] IRM, Moldova Mid-Term Report 2016-2018, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Moldova_Mid-Term_IRM-Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[6] Law on the Personal Data Protection of 08.07.2011, http://www.asp.gov.md/ro/node/1305

[7] Central Governmental Platform of Open Data, https://date.gov.md/home/about

[8] Telephone interview with the Department of Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Assessment, 5 April 2019.  

[9] Telephone discussion with the Department of European Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, 5 April 2019; Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, section on Association Agreement Reports, https://www.mfa.gov.md/ro/content/rapoarte-aa

[10] IRM, Republic of Moldova, End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, p 29, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Moldova_End-of-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[11] Interview with Vrabie Natalia, Department of Public Property Administration, Agency of Public Property, March 2019.

[12] More information about the EMIS system can be found in the Mid-Term and End-of-Term IRM Reports 2016-2018: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Moldova_End-of-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf and https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Moldova_Mid-Term_IRM-Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[13] Interview Tatiana Sava, 1 April 2019, Researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, and Project Coordinator of the “My School” Analysis Project implemented by Expert-Grup with the support of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability of the World Bank (http://scoalamea.md/)

[14] Ibid.

[15] Telephone interview with M.Podubnyi, the head of the Information Department, AIPA, 4 April 2019.

[16] Interview with Ion Guzun, Legal Resources Center, 5 April 2019.

[17] E-Government Agency, http://egov.md/en/projects/m-cloud

[18] Telephone interview with the State Agency for Intellectual Property, 5 April 2019.

[19] Freedom House Report on Access to Information and Media Independence in Moldova, https://www.rcmediafreedom.eu/Publications/Reports/Moldova-Access-to-Information-and-Media-Independence ; Handbook on Transparency and Citizen Participation: Moldova, Council of Europe, https://rm.coe.int/moldova-handbook-on-transparency-and-citizen-participation-en/16807893c1

[20] Open Data Charter, https://opendatacharter.net/


Commitments

  1. Access to Information and Open Data

    MD0069, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Budget Transparency and Public Procurement

    MD0070, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  3. Civil Society Collaboration

    MD0071, 2018, E-Government

  4. Diaspora Participation

    MD0072, 2018, E-Government

  5. Accountability Mechanism

    MD0073, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  6. Public Service Delivery

    MD0074, 2018, Access to Justice

  7. Increase Public Procurement Transparency

    MD0061, 2016, Access to Information

  8. Increase Knowledge of Public Procurement Process

    MD0062, 2016, Access to Information

  9. Ensure Budgetary Transparency

    MD0063, 2016, Access to Information

  10. Open Data in Education Sector

    MD0064, 2016, Access to Information

  11. Publish Government-Held Open Data

    MD0065, 2016, Access to Information

  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, Access to Information

  16. Setting up an Action Plan for Open Data

    MD0049, 2014, Access to Information

  17. Setting up Guidelines for Publishing Open Data.

    MD0050, 2014, Access to Information

  18. Raising Awareness Among Civil Servants.

    MD0051, 2014, Access to Information

  19. Civil Servant Training

    MD0052, 2014, Access to Information

  20. Government Email System

    MD0053, 2014, E-Government

  21. Auditing Public Websites

    MD0054, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  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, E-petitions

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

    MD0011, 2012, Access 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, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

  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,

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