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Portugal

Open Administration Week (PT0002)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Portugal Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Platform of Civil Society Associations - House of Citizenship, supported by the National Network for Open Administration

Support Institution(s): All represented in the National Network for Open Administration / open to all Public Administration

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, OGP

IRM Review

IRM Report: Portugal 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:

Description

COMMITMENT #2: OPEN ADMINISTRATION WEEK
Commitment Start and End Date: January 2019 – March 2019
Lead implementing agency/actor Platform of Civil Society Associations - House of Citizenship, supported by the National Network for Open Administration
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? There is little information made available to citizens, in an accessible and structured way, on Open Administration issues, in its various aspects
What is the commitment? Promote the dissemination of the OGP principles and of initiatives carried out by Portugal and other countries within the scope of Open Administration, in order to promote knowledge and an informed debate on concrete examples regarding the implementation of the Open Administration agenda at a global level.
This commitment will include a public event on the subject of Open Administration promoted by PASC, with the support of the National Network for Open Administration, along with a variety of other events to be defined during the planning phase.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? The Open Administration Week will contribute to promote a culture of transparency and public participation in Public Administration and civil society, as well as to promote public confidence in public institutions.
The organization of specific initiatives and the exchange of experiences and good practices in the field of Open Administration will imply the realization of partnerships between public entities and between them and civil society.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? The measure fits on the axes” Transparency” and “Public Participation”.
Additional information Alignment with the Open Government Week promoted annually by OGP
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date:
Define the overall structure of the initiative, including a communication plan and the event to be promoted by PASC January 2nd, 2019 February 6th, 2019
Materialize the program of the event to be promoted by PASC and other initiatives to be carried out within the scope of the Open Administration Week February 6th, 2019 March 6th, 2019
Implement the communication plan February 18th, 2019 March 31st, 2019
Implement the Open Government Week March 11th, 2019 March 17th, 2019
Contact information
Name of responsible person from implementing agency PASC – Luís Vidigal
Title, Department President of the Board
Email and Phone secretariado@pasc.pt; vidigal.luis@gmail.com
217 510 762; 96 345 90 44
Other Actors Involved State actors involved All represented in the National Network for Open Administration / open to all Public Administration

CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups All represented in the National Network for Open Administration / open to all Civil Society and citizens

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. Open Administration Week

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [10]

“There is little information made available to citizens, in an accessible and structured way, on Open Administration issues, in its various aspects.

Promote the dissemination of the OGP principles and of initiatives carried out by Portugal and other countries within the scope of Open Administration, in order to promote knowledge and an informed debate on concrete examples regarding the implementation of the Open Administration agenda at a global level. This commitment will include a public event on the subject of Open Administration promoted by PASC, with the support of the National Network for Open Administration, along with a variety of other events to be defined during the planning phase.

The Open Administration Week will contribute to promote a culture of transparency and public participation in Public Administration and civil society, as well as to promote public confidence in public institutions. The organization of specific initiatives and the exchange of experiences and good practices in the field of Open Administration will imply the realization of partnerships between public entities and between them and civil society.”

Milestones:

2.1. Define the overall structure of the initiative, including a communication plan and the event to be promoted by PASC

2.2. Materialize the program of the event to be promoted by PASC and other initiatives to be carried out within the scope of the Open Administration Week

2.3. Implement the communication plan

2.4. Implement the Open Government Week

Start Date: 2 January 2019

End Date: 17 March 2019

Context and Objectives

The action plan recognizes a lack of information available to citizens on the topic of open government in Portugal. With this issue in mind, the goal of the initiative is to contribute to promoting a culture of transparency in public administration, and to promote trust in public institutions. To achieve these goals, this commitment proposes a week of events designed to disseminate the principles of the OGP process and to promote dialogue between different actors from civil society and public administration. The Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA) also emphasized the goal of stimulating the experience of the multi-stakeholder forum (MSF) as part of the initiative. Since several members of the network do not have specific commitments in the action plan, this commitment has the potential to better connect them to the OGP process. [11] The initiative, as described in the action plan, is relevant to OGP values as a tool to promote civic participation.

This commitment’s milestones are interdependent and specific enough to be verifiable. Still, moving forward, the IRM researcher suggests more precisely defined milestones that would allow for a clearer identification of the potential impact of the initiative. For example, milestone 2.3 refers to the implementation of a communications plan. Ideally, the commitment would provide more specific details of the specific goals of the communications plan, such as the number of citizens or CSOs reached, or the number of news articles in the press.

With this limitation in mind, the potential impact of the commitment is minor. The initiative is not expected to change government practices and the capacity of isolated events to overcome information gaps in the public sphere is intrinsically limited. Additionally, promoting a culture of transparency in government and trust in public institutions, as stated in the plan, are ambitious and commendable goals. However, both transparency and trust are associated with structural dynamics of the relationship between citizens and government in Portugal. [12] To increase the impact of these processes in a meaningful way requires a more ambitious set of commitments, and a continued effort that is not compatible with occasional events. Still, the IRM researcher finds the initiative beneficial in its own way, particularly if the conclusions of the debates promoted as part of the open administration week help inform future action plans.

Next steps

At the time of writing this report, this commitment is already completed, and thus does not need to be included in future action plans. Moving forward, the IRM researcher recommends the following:

  • Consider adapting this initiative and the expertise gained in its implementation to broaden the discussion during the co-creation process for the next action plan. More specifically, it could be integrated as an instrument for receiving public input during the development of the plan. In an interview, the PASC revealed interest in promoting more workshops like the one developed as part of this commitment. [13] Leveraging this interest may be of interest to the goals of the forum.
  • Consider more carefully the segments of the electorate that want to be reached as part of the initiative and adjust the communications plan accordingly. Based on the goals stated in the action plan for this commitment, the open administration week seemed targeted to the general public. However, both the communications plan and the nature of the events promoted focused on specific segments of the public, such as business leaders.
  • The MSF needs to make an additional effort to avoid overstating the expected impact of commitments. In this specific instance, an appropriate set of expectations could be the creation of a temporary platform for the dissemination of information to the public, and for receiving feedback from civil society on the issues of open government.

 

[11] Cláudia Barroso and Tiago Mendonça, Administrative Modernization Agency, 22 April 2019.
[12] Pedro C. Magalhães, Disaffected democrats: Political attitudes and political action in Portugal, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01402380500310626
[13] Luís Vidigal, Platform of Civil Society, interview with IRM researcher, 16 April 2019.