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Portugal

Clear State Organization (PT0005)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Directorate General for Administration and Public Employment (DGAEP)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government

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: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

COMMITMENT #5: CLEAR STATE ORGANIZATION
Commitment Start and End Date: 2019 (aligned with the development schedule of SIOE+)
Lead implementing agency/actor Directorate General for Administration and Public Employment (DGAEP)
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? At the moment, it is not clear to the ordinary citizen what the different organizations and entities that are part of the State are: how many, of what kind and how they are organized.
What is the commitment? Take advantage of the reformulation of the current Information System of State Organization (SIOE - https://www.sioe.dgaep.gov.pt) to:
- Ensure the development of a simpler user interface that allows the ordinary citizen to understand and "navigate" in the global universe of state entities, in their various institutional forms;
- Allow the citizen to intuitively select an entity or set of entities and directly access the relevant information about those entities in other portals;
- Provide richer data to enhance and support the preparation of statistical analyses and technical studies, thus contributing to an improvement in the definition of public policies (examples of innovations include information on HR within all the public sector).
Overall, the SIOE+ will provide more and better information on the organization of the public sector and public employment, positioning itself as an "anchor" portal for access to relevant data sources for accountability processes (such as the national eProcurement website).
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? An interface that allows the citizen to interact intuitively with the SIOE enables him to know the entities and organizations that constitute the State.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? The commitment fits on the Transparency axe, besides contributing to the public sector accountability.
Additional information
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date:
Improved SIOE interface January 2019 April 2019
Launch of new version 2nd semestre of 2019 2nd semestre of 2019
Contact information
Name of responsible person from implementing agency DGAEP – Dr. Vasco Hilário
Title, Department Deputy Director-General
Email and Phone geral@dgaep.gov.pt; 21 390 01 48

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Clear state organization

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [29]

“At the moment, it is not clear to the ordinary citizen what the different organizations and entities that are part of the State are: how many, of what kind and how they are organized.

Take advantage of the reformulation of the current Information System of State Organization (SIOE - https://www.sioe.dgaep.gov.pt) to:

- Ensure the development of a simpler user interface that allows the ordinary citizen to understand and "navigate" in the global universe of state entities, in their various institutional forms;

- Allow the citizen to intuitively select an entity or set of entities and directly access the relevant information about those entities in other portals;

- Provide richer data to enhance and support the preparation of statistical analyses and technical studies, thus contributing to an improvement in the definition of public policies (examples of innovations include information on HR within all the public sector). Overall, the SIOE+ will provide more and better information on the organization of the public sector and public employment, positioning itself as an "anchor" portal for access to relevant data sources for accountability processes (such as the national eProcurement website).

An interface that allows the citizen to interact intuitively with the SIOE enables him to know the entities and organizations that constitute the State.”

Milestones:

5.1. Improved SIOE interface

5.2. Launch of new version

Start Date: January 2019

End Date: 2nd semester of 2019

Context and Objectives

This commitment is motivated by the understanding that CSOs and citizens currently lack access to information on the different organizations that compose the state, how organized and connected they are, and their main areas of intervention. [30] According to the Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA), CSOs in the MSF raised this issue during some of the first meetings, leading to this commitment. [31]

The main goal of the commitment is to produce a user-friendly interface that allows citizens to learn more about the entities and organizations that constitute the state. Existing information is currently aggregated by the System of State Organization (SIOE) and managed by the Directorate General for Administration and Public Employment (DGAEP). The online platform provides a variety of information about each public agency, including which ministry oversees the institution, the type of internal structure, contact information, the mission of the institution and its webpage, associated legislation, total number of employees, or the composition of the administration. The new interface will include new information – some of it exclusive – such as addresses to all the physical locations of each entity, information on non-executive members of the boards, or status relative to Portugal’s national strategy for equality and non-discrimination. [32] According to DGAEP, the new information will be more granular, allowing users to produce indicators that until now were not available to the general public. Additionally, the new platform will include a helpdesk for citizens to communicate with the interface. [33] Hence, if fully implemented, the commitment will lead to the disclosure of more information and will improve the quality of the information currently provided.

The commitment is verifiable since each milestone listed in the action plan describes a specific and identifiable step in the process of updating the SIOE platform. However, the milestones could be more precisely defined to allow for a clearer identification of the expected outcomes of the initiative.

DGAEP expects the new interface to provide more and better information in the areas of human resources in the public sector, the key responsibilities of each public agency and their resources. Also, according to DGAEP, an additional goal of this initiative is to promote the harmonization of the various information systems in the public sector. [34] Overall, from the information gathered from different organizations involved in the commitment and the amount of new data and resources available in the new platform, the IRM researcher judges its potential impact as moderate.

Although this initiative is fairly ambitious, the information provided seems to have limited use to the general public. The main beneficiaries of the new interface seem to be different entities in the public sector, rather than civil society. Additionally, the plan does not describe any mechanisms to ensure that the information provided in the new platform remains updated over time. DGAEP representatives mentioned that the initiative includes the development of a system of regular alerts to remind public institutions to either update or correct their information, although this was not clear from the plan. [35] The commitment would have benefited from describing this type of effort in more detail.

Next steps

Given the current stage of development of the initiative, the IRM researcher suggests that this commitment is not included in future action plans. However, on the basis of the analysis above, the IRM researcher recommends the following steps:

  • Consider developing an Application Programming Interface (API) to accompany the new platform. This interface would allow citizens to retrieve information provided by the website in bulk. Such an interface may be particularly useful for academics or private sector organizations interested in using these data for research purposes.
  • Currently, the initiative provides several instances to receive input from different stakeholders. However, the key problem that motivates the commitment is the struggle of regular citizens in accessing these data. Unfortunately, according to DGAEP, the development of this platform has not received the direct input of regular citizens so far. Depending on the current status of the initiative, it might be worth considering a consultation process for the new platform.
[30] Esmeralda Carvalho, Fernanda Teixeira, and Vasco Hilário, Directorate General for Administration and Public Employment, interview with IRM researcher, 24 April 2019.
[31] Cláudia Barroso and Tiago Mendonça, Administrative Modernization Agency, 22 April 2019.
[32] The National Strategy for Equality and Non-Discrimination 2018-2030. Aims at promoting, among other things, gender equality in public administration boards, https://www.cig.gov.pt/documentacao-de-referencia/doc/portugal-mais-igual/
[33] Ibid.
[34] Esmeralda Carvalho, Fernanda Teixeira, and Vasco Hilário, Directorate General for Administration and Public Employment, interview with IRM researcher, 24 April 2019.
[35] Ibid.