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Romania

Improved Management of the Applications Submitted for Granting Citizenship (RO0033)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Justice (MJ) – National Citizenship Agency (ANC)

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) – Police General Inspectorate (IGPR) and Immigration General Inspectorate (IGI) Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MAE) – diplomatic missions; Centre for Public Innovation

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Citizenship and Immigration, E-Government, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Romania End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

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

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment Citizenship applicants face numerous issues in the citizenship granting process. One of the biggest problems is the limited possibilities to track the evolution of the citizenship application file. This is often caused by the fact that applicants do not know the file registration number, especially those submitting the application at diplomatic missions or consular posts abroad, where the applicant receives a registration number different from the one the file eventually gets at the Agency. On the other hand, there are no available resources within the Agency to manage an efficient communication system with the applicants. Main objective Increase transparency and institutional efficiency Brief description of commitment The commitment regards the development of a computerised system that will give applicants access to information about the status of their application file, as well as the dates set for the oath of loyalty. The information system ROCRIS, dedicated to the Romanian criminal records and launched in 2013, will be used by the ANC to check the situation of the applicants. In addition, statistics regarding the number of accepted citizenship applicants will be uploaded on the open data portal data.gov.ro. OPG challenge addressed by the commitment Improve public services; Increase public sector integrity Relevance Access to information; Technology and innovation Ambition Develop a computerised system for better management of the files of citizenship applicants. Publication of open data.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

✪4. Improved management of the applications submitted for granting citizenship

Commitment Text:

The commitment regards the development of a computerized system that will give individuals who apply for Romanian citizenship access to information about the status of their application file, as well as the dates set for their oath of loyalty. The information system ROCRIS, dedicated to the Romanian criminal records and launched in 2013, will be used by the ANC to check the situation of the applicants. In addition, statistics regarding the number of accepted citizenship applicants will be uploaded on the open data portal data.gov.ro.

Main Objective:

Increase transparency and institutional efficiency.

Milestones:

  • Consultations between the government institutions involved (ANC, IGPR, IGI, MAE) and NGOs to understand and assess the needs of public servants working on this matter and the needs of citizenship applicants
  • Online programming for the submission of files at each regional office and at the central office in Bucharest
  • Use of the ROCRIS information system, dedicated to the criminal records, to check the status of the applicants
  • Implementation of the application ”Stadiu dosar” (File Status), that will inform the applicants on the status of their file, the phases and the periods allowed for solving the submissions.
  • Development within the technical specifications of the online platform, of a module that will collect, anonymize and upload the data to the open data portal.

Responsible Institution: Ministry of Justice (MJ) – National Citizenship Agency (ANC) Open Parliament Principles

Supporting Institution(s): Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), Police General Inspectorate (IGPR), Immigration General Inspectorate (IGI), and Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MAE)–diplomatic missions

Start date: September 2016                                      End date: December 2017

Editorial Note: The commitment text is abridged. The full text can be found in the OGP 2016–2018 national action plan.

Editorial note: This commitment is clearly relevant to OGP values as written, has transformative potential impact, and is substantially or completely implemented, and therefore qualifies as a starred commitment.

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to reduce delays for processing requests for Romanian citizenship [30] by identifying the main sources of bottlenecks (Milestone 1), by using online tools to increase the productivity of the public servants processing the applications (Milestone 3), and by transposing the application process online such that applicants can monitor their application in real time (Milestones 2 and 4). The commitment also aimed to streamline the publication of statistics on citizenship applications on the data.gov.ro portal (Milestone 5).

STATUS

Midterm: Complete

This commitment was completed by the midterm. Consultations to assess the needs of public servants and of citizenship applicants were organized in 2016. They were experienced and constructed both by the public sector representatives and by representatives of the civil society. [31] Software that ensures that citizenship applicants can file the necessary documents online, can schedule their appointments at the ANC online, and can view online the progress made on their requests, were developed. Furthermore, ANC employees were given access to the Romanian Criminal Records Information System (ROCRIS) database, which increases their productivity. Citizenship applicants thus no longer need to first get a hard-copy version of their criminal records and provide it to the ANC. Finally, software was developed to allow the collection, anonymization, and upload of statistics on citizenship applications on the open data portal.

Did it Open Government?

Access to information: Major

Eurostat shows that 9,399 persons acquired Romanian citizenship in 2009, a 168% increase from 2008. [32] According to a civil society representative, the number of requests for Romanian nationality increased after the passing of Emergency Ordinance 36/2009 above the processing capacity of the ANC. [33] Simultaneously, Romania is the only EU member for which no Eurostat statistics on the amount of persons that acquired citizenship exist between 2010 and 2012. [34] According to the civil society representative, this eGovernment solution has significantly increased the productivity and the transparency of the ANC services and reduced the probability of corruption. [35] By implementing this commitment, public servants of the ANC are allowed access to the Romanian Criminal Records Information System, which increases their productivity. Moreover, it reduces the burden on the citizenship applicants who no longer need to require a hard copy of their criminal records. Citizenship applicants can schedule the necessary appointments online for the submission of files relevant to the application—in ANC’s regional offices as well as in its central office in Bucharest. [36] Finally, citizenship applicants can track their application online, [37] which helps them avoid missing the deadlines or not being able to inform the authorities of the foreign state whose citizens they are about the progress made in acquiring dual nationality. According to the government’s 2018 self-assessment report, a survey conducted in June 2017 by ANC showed that 97% of the responding applicants were happy with the online appointments scheduling system. Respondents viewed the portal as user-friendly and the digitization of the appointments scheduling as more transparent, reducing waiting times and being more cost-efficient.

Furthermore, although only 6,800 persons acquired Romanian citizenship in 2017 [38] (well below the 30,500 persons EU27 average), the statistics on citizenship applications that the ANC periodically publishes on the data.gov.ro portal are important for monitoring the evolution of the electoral base and for understanding and predicting electoral preferences. [39] Increasing the transparency of this group of Romanian and EU (potential) voters is important in the context of the discussions of potential election result manipulations.

Civic participation: Marginal

Consultations between the representatives of the ANC and of the civil society were organized in 2016 and were experienced as constructive by both parties. [40] The commitment had a positive impact on civic engagement, albeit marginal due to the singularity of consultations.

Carried forward?

This commitment was completed and consequently not carried forward in the 2018–2020 national action plan. Nevertheless, building on the successful completion of this commitment, the National Citizenship Agency applied for EU funds to update their computerized system and also allow Romanian citizens living abroad to renounce their citizenship online [41]—thereby lifting the burden imposed on them to travel to Bucharest to submit the required documents in person (see Commitment 8 “Digitalization of consular services performed by diplomatic missions and consular offices of Romania abroad” of the 2018–2020 national action plan.

[30] Andreea Traicu, “Ministerul Justitiei: Nereguli de legalitate la Autoritatea Naţională pentru Cetăţenie”, Mediafax, 3 March 2016, available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/ky1jPX.

[31] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018 and Mugurel Dascalu, National Agency for Citizenship, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018.

[32] Eurostat, Romania, available at https://bit.ly/2Y91lXO.

[33] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.

[34] Eurostat, Romania, available at https://bit.ly/2Y91lXO.

[35] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.

[36] Ministry of Justice. Programare Online Depunere Dosar. available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/2PHZ8C.

[37] Ministry of Justice. Stadiu Dosar – art. 11, Available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/ZL24AS.

[38] Eurostat, Romania, available at https://bit.ly/2Y91lXO.

[39] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.

[40] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.

[41] Mugurel Dascalu, National Agency for Citizenship, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018.


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. 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