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Romania

AMENDING LAW 109/2007 ON THE RE-USE OF PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION (RO0022)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania, Second Action Plan, 2014-16

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of the Information Society

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Justice CSOs: Association for Technology and Internet, Open Society Foundation

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Romania End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information, was implemented at national level by Law 109/2007 regarding the re-use of public information.
The law stipulates that re-use for non-commercial purposes of documents owned by the public institutions is free for all potential market participants and that public institutions must create conditions to facilitate access to the documents available for re-use, particularly by creating electronic lists and directories with the most relevant documents.
Since the first set of rules on re-use of public sector information was adopted in 2003, the amount of data in the world, including public data, has increased exponentially and new types of data are being generated and collected. This rapid technological evolution makes it possible to create new services and new applications, which are built upon the use, aggregation or combination of data. As such Directive 2013/37/EU amending Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information.
The public sector should facilitate the re-use of public information by making documents available in open, machine-readable formats, ensures inter­operability with other information or analysis systems.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 4. Amending Law 109/2007 on the Reuse of Public-Sector Information

Commitment Text:

Amending Law no. 109/2007 on the Re-use of Public Sector Information.

       The agency will create a legal framework for the re-use of data and the publication of open datasets by implementing the provisions of Directive 2013/37/EU, amending the Directive 2003/98/CE on the Re-use of Public Sector Information, thus amending Law 109/2007. On the suggestion of civil society, proposals to create a legal framework for open data will also be taken into account.

Responsible institution: Ministry of the Information Society

Supporting institutions: Ministry of Justice, Association for Technology and Internet, Open Society Foundation

Start date: September 2014              End date: June 2015  

Commitment Aim:

 

This commitment proposes to update Law 109/2007 on the reuse of public-sector information, bringing it in line with the EU directive 2013/37/EU. The commitment aims to create a legal framework for the reuse of data and to make it available in open, machine-readable formats.  Civil society in Romania has also requested that the government consider creating a legal framework for open data.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

The government had substantially implemented this commitment by the midterm evaluation. The Ministry of the Information Society organized public consultations on the new legislation in March 2015, including a public debate at the ministry’s headquarters. At the end of July 2015, the executive approved an amendment to the legislation on the re-use of public sector information, and the law was sent to Parliament. Two prominent CSOs[Note 13: Open Society Foundation and the Association for Technology and Internet.] were concerned about the consultation process, as well as the omission of some open data provisions in the law. For more information, please see the 2014–2015 IRM midterm report.

End of term: Complete

Parliament adopted the law on 25 November 2015, and the Official Gazette published it on 3 December 2015 (Law 299/2015). According to the self-assessment report, the government considers this commitment only substantially implemented because the newly adopted law did not include civil society’s proposals related to open data.[Note 14: The main complaint is that although civil society proposed a specific legal framework related to open data this issue has not been addressed in the final form of the legislation.] However, as written this commitment is considered complete for two reasons: the amendment was adopted, and public consultation took place. Moreover, Article 7(1) of the new law gives guidance to public institutions on the reuse of data. If a public institution allows the reuse of its documents, the institution must send the documents to the requesting individual in their existing format and, when possible and adequate, in an open and machine-readable format with metadata. The article also states that the open formats and the metadata should follow the open data standards.[Note 15: The text of Law 299/2015 is available for free at http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/173591, through the national legislation portal.]

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

Civic participation: Did not change

Implementation of this commitment brings Romanian legislation up to date with the most recent EU directive on improving the integration of technology in information services. As such, this commitment marginally opened government with respect to access to information.

For instance, the new legislation affirms the public’s right to request information and documents from public institutions. More importantly, it legally establishes conditions under which public-sector institutions must provide requested information. Prior to this amendment, public institutions could easily deny information requests, and the requesting individual or agency had little recourse. The new legislation establishes a time frame, requiring that public institutions respond to requests within 20 working days (40 if complex information is requested). In addition, the law creates a legally defined appeals process. If a request is denied, there is a clear administrative process through which the decision can be contested.

Although these are important improvements to increase citizens’ rights to information, the legislation still includes a number of broad exceptions that deny access to certain information. While some exceptions are clear, such as those related to intellectual property rights, others are open to interpretation. For example, access can be denied if the person requesting information does not provide a legitimate reason for requesting a document. For this reason, the amendment has only led to a marginal change in actual government practice. It should be noted that there were several options for updating the law, and CSOs are dissatisfied by the government’s preferred solution, considering it a lost opportunity. The EU offered member states a minimum standard that should be implemented, coupled with a series of optional recommendations member states could choose to implement. According to civil society representatives, the Romanian government chose the easiest solution, the implementation of minimal standards, and ignored many CSO recommendations.

Carried forward?

The government completed the commitment before the end of the commitment period and did not include it in the next action plan.  


Romania's Commitments

  1. standardize public consultation practices

    RO0048, 2018, E-Government

  2. open local government

    RO0049, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Citizen budgets

    RO0050, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. youth participation

    RO0051, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Register of civil society proposals

    RO0052, 2018, E-Government

  6. access to information – local

    RO0053, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. online business sector information

    RO0054, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. Digital consular services

    RO0055, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Transparency in the funding of political parties

    RO0056, 2018, E-Government

  10. national investment fund transparency

    RO0057, 2018, E-Government

  11. civil servant training

    RO0058, 2018, Capacity Building

  12. raise awareness about corruption

    RO0059, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. transparency of seized assets

    RO0060, 2018, E-Government

  14. access to social services

    RO0061, 2018, E-Government

  15. open access to research

    RO0062, 2018, E-Government

  16. open education

    RO0063, 2018, Capacity Building

  17. evaluate open data

    RO0064, 2018, Capacity Building

  18. open data

    RO0065, 2018, E-Government

  19. Improving the legal framework and practices regarding access to public interest information

    RO0030, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Centralized publishing of public interest information on the single gateway transparenta.gov.ro

    RO0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promoting Open Parliament principles

    RO0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Starred commitment Improved management of the applications submitted for granting citizenship

    RO0033, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Standardization of transparency practices in the decision-making procedures

    RO0034, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Centralised publication of legislative projects on the single gateway consultare.gov.ro

    RO0035, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Citizens Budgets

    RO0036, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Improve youth consultation and public participation

    RO0037, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Subnational open government

    RO0038, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. Promoting transparency in the decision-making process by setting up a Transparency Register (RUTI)

    RO0039, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  29. Access to performance indicators monitored in the implementation of the National Anticorruption Strategy (SNA)

    RO0040, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  30. Improve transparency in the management of seized assets

    RO0041, 2016, Asset Disclosure

  31. Annual mandatory training of civil servants on integrity matters

    RO0042, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  32. Improving access to cultural heritage

    RO0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  33. Open data and transparency in education

    RO0044, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Virtual School Library and Open Educational Resources

    RO0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Open Contracting

    RO0046, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  36. Increasing the quality and quantity of published open data

    RO0047, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. PUBLISHING THE PUBLIC INTEREST INFORMATION ON A SINGLE GOVERNMENT PORTAL: TRANSPARENTA.GOV.RO

    RO0019, 2014, E-Government

  38. MAKING AN INVENTORY OF THE DATASETS PRODUCED BY THE MINISTRIES AND SUBORDINATE AGENCIES

    RO0020, 2014, Open Data

  39. Starred commitment ENSURING THE FREE ONLINE ACCESS TO NATIONAL LEGISLATION

    RO0021, 2014, E-Government

  40. AMENDING LAW 109/2007 ON THE RE-USE OF PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION

    RO0022, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  41. OPENING DATA COLLECTED FROM THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM

    RO0023, 2014, Health

  42. OPENING DATA COLLECTED FROM THE MONITORING OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES AS PART OF THE NATIONAL ANTICORRUPTION STRATEGY 2012-2015

    RO0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  43. OPEN CONTRACTING

    RO0025, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  44. OPEN ACCESS OPENING UP DATA RESULTED FROM PUBLICLY-FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS

    RO0026, 2014, E-Government

  45. INCREASING THE QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF PUBLISHED OPEN DATA

    RO0027, 2014, Open Data

  46. HUMAN RESOURCE TRAINING IN THE FIELD OF OPEN DATA

    RO0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  47. DISSEMINATING INFORMATION ON THE OGP PRINCIPLES AND PROMOTING THE OPEN DATA CONCEPT IN AN ACCESSIBLE MANNER

    RO0029, 2014, Records Management

  48. Designating a person responsible for publishing open data in each public institution

    RO0001, 2012, Open Data

  49. Identifying regulatory needs, logistical and technical solutions

    RO0002, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  50. Making an inventory of available (high-value) data-sets

    RO0003, 2012, Open Data

  51. Priority publishing on the web pages of public institutions of specific data-sets

    RO0004, 2012, Open Data

  52. Initiating pilot-projects, in partnerships

    RO0005, 2012, Open Data

  53. Organizing public debates on the utility of open data, in partnerships

    RO0006, 2012, Open Data

  54. Uniform, machine-readable publishing format for open data

    RO0007, 2012, Open Data

  55. Procedures for publication of data-sets based on civil society recommendations

    RO0008, 2012, Open Data

  56. Procedures for citizen complaints pertaining to open data

    RO0009, 2012, Open Data

  57. Consultation mechanism between suppliers and beneficiaries of open data

    RO0010, 2012, Open Data

  58. Creating a rating system for the assessment of high-value data-sets

    RO0011, 2012, Open Data

  59. Routinely publishing specific data-sets on web pages of public institutions

    RO0012, 2012, E-Government

  60. Integrating open data from public institutions in a single national platform

    RO0013, 2012, E-Government

  61. Inventories of data, in order to facilitate public access

    RO0014, 2012, Open Data

  62. Institute a monitoring mechanism of compliance for open data

    RO0015, 2012, Open Data

  63. Stimulating the market for innovative use of open data

    RO0016, 2012, Open Data

  64. Routinely publishing data-sets on the national platform, 25% high-value

    RO0017, 2012, Open Data

  65. The Public Procurement Electronic System (SEAP). The Electronic Allocation System for Transports (SAET)/B.1 c) Expanding the on-line submission of fiscal forms. Ensuring the free on-line access to national legislation. Developing electronic tools to manage subpoenas and facilitate access toinformation regarding legal proceedings. Developing electronic tools to manage the procedures related to obtaining the Romanian citizenship. Developing electronic tools to manage the procedures related to the creation of non-profit legal persons. The Integrated System for Electronic Access to Justice (SIIAEJ)/

    RO0018, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration