Skip Navigation
Romania

Citizens Budgets (RO0036)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Public Finance

Support Institution(s): Chancellery of the Prime-Minister (CPM) Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP) Ministry for Public Consultations and Civic Dialogue (MCPDC); Funky Citizens Centre for Public Innovation

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation, Subnational

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment Public budgets are drafted based on the economic and functional structure of public administration and are used as such in the accounting system of public institutions. The budget is presented to the public in this same format. Even when the draft budget is published in a timely manner for public debate, the format of the document is complicated, even for citizens with high education but not trained in this particular field. This issue is a major hindrance for relevant citizen engagement in budgetary allocation decisions. Main objective Initiate the use of Citizens Budgets as a compulsory mechanism of fiscal budgetary transparency in the adoption of public budgets. Brief description of commitment The commitment aims to promote Citizens’ Budgets – public budgets presented in a manner that is understandable to the public, in both central and local administration, to ensure fiscal and budgetary transparency. OPG challenge addressed by the commitment Effectively managing public resources; Improving public services Relevance The commitment is introducing an efficient tool to facilitate citizen engagement in one of the most important decision-making processes: the adoption of public budgets. Ambition The intended result is a major change in the public budgets adoption mechanism.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

7. Citizens Budgets

Commitment Text:

The commitment aims to promote Citizens’ Budgets – public budgets presented in a manner that is understandable to the public, in both central and local administration, to ensure fiscal and budgetary transparency. The commitment is introducing an efficient tool to facilitate citizen engagement in one of the most important decision-making processes: the adoption of public budgets.

Main Objective:

Initiate the use of Citizens Budgets as a compulsory mechanism of fiscal budgetary transparency in the adoption of public budgets.

Milestones:

    • Draft a model for the Citizens Budget based on the 2016 national budget
    • Gather citizens and civil society feedback on the proposed Citizens Budget model and develop a Guide for drafting Citizen Budgets
    • Pilot Citizen Budgets in at least 15 municipalities (varied types)
    • Drafting and presenting the Citizen Budget for the 2018 national budget
    • Public awareness actions to promote the Citizen Budget
    • Drafting and adoption of norms introducing Citizen Budgets for all public authorities
    • Develop, start and implement a training / assistance program for public authorities regarding Citizen Budgets

Responsible Institution: Ministry of Public Finance (MFP)

Supporting Institution(s): Chancellery of the Prime-Minister (CPM), Secretariat General of the Government (SGG), Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP), Ministry for Public Consultations and Civic Dialogue (MCPDC), Funky Citizens, Centre for Public Innovation

Start date: 2016                                                                     End date: June 2018

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

Commitment Aim

This commitment started from a proposal of civil society and aimed to create more opportunities for citizens to participate in the budgeting process by providing plain-language budget information and publishing it alongside the official annual budget. [58] The commitment aimed to design a template narrative to explain national budgets and a guide for how to design narratives for public budgets. It also aimed to pilot the explanation of local budgets, raise public awareness on explained budgets, require public authorities to explain their budgets, and train and assist them to comply with this obligation.

STATUS

Midterm: Not Started

This commitment was not started. The MFP had to collaborate with civil society on this commitment, as it could not hire graphic designers or acquire graphic design software necessary for the editing of the Citizen Budgets brochure. [59] Therefore the MFP met in 2016 and 2017 with representatives of civil society to discuss the cocreation of the template narrative. According to the MFP representative, although the MFP put forward several drafts text and numbers for the template narrative, civil society did not graphically edit the brochure, as they promised during the 2016 meeting. [60]

End-of-term: Not Started

This commitment has not advanced beyond what was accomplished at the midterm assessment. [61]

Did it Open Government?

Access to information: Did not change

Civic participation: Did not change

As the commitment was not started, it cannot have opened government. However, a civil society representative argues progress was booked on the principles behind citizen budgets. For instance, the MFP created Trasparenta-Bugetara.gov.ro—a national platform aimed at monitoring financial and legal statements of public entities in Romania—and added an educational video that explains how to work your way through the open budget data effectively. [62] Additionally, in 2018 the MFP started publishing in bulk and automatically updating a set of performance indicators and contact details for all taxpaying operators in Romania. These performance indicators and contact data are extracted from the annual financial statements the economic operators disclose. [63] Nevertheless, the data identifiers (i.e. the column headers of the .csv files) are missing, making the interpretation of the data very difficult. [64]

Though the portal Trasparenta-Bugetara.gov.ro is not user-friendly, it provides large and good quality datasets [65] that some NGOs have used to build monitoring applications on—e.g. OpenBudget.ro. According to the MFP representative, the MFP was unable to create synergies with a similar private sector initiative http://www.OpenBudget.ro, which explains national budgets through graphics and charts.

Carried forward?

This commitment will be continued in the 2018–2020 national action plan as Commitment 3: “Citizens Budgets.”

[58] Bogdan Grunevici, Ministry of Public Finances, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018. According to the interview with Grunevici, the commitment was proposed by Mr. Codru Vrabie, from Funky Citizens.

[59] Government Emergency Ordinance 26/2012 on certain measures to reduce public expenditure and enhance financial discipline and on modifying and complementing certain normative acts, is available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/ngTEtz. Article 3 does not allow the MFP to dedicate resources to acquire goods for protocol or representation purposes

[60] Bogdan Grunevici, Ministry of Public Finances, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018.

[61] “National Action Plan 2016–2018: Self-assessment report”, Open Government Partnership, 2018, page 33, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2vv2yw7.

[62] Elena Calistru, Funky Citizens, interview by IRM researcher on 13 November 2018.

[63] Bogdan Grunevici, Ministry of Public Finances, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018.

[64] Economic operators identifiers, clustered by county are available at https://bit.ly/2WgYb75.

[65] Bogdan Grunevici, Ministry of Public Finances, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018.


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. 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. 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