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Romania

Subnational Open Government (RO0038)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP)

Support Institution(s): Chancellery of the Prime-Minister (CPM) Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue (MCPDC) County Councils; Open Data Coalition Smart City and other NGOs with relevant experience

Policy Areas

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

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

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 At the level of local public authorities, knowledge of the open government principles is low. There are several initiatives and good practices, but these are not replicated, due to the lack of information and communications on this topic. Main objective Increase citizen engagement in the decision-making process of local authorities and increase the involvement of local authorities in the OGP process. Brief description of commitment A set of recommendations regarding open local government will be drafted based on the OGP principles, and a pilot program modelled on the OGP Subnational Pilot will be initiated for 8 local governments. OPG challenge addressed by the commitment Improving public services; Increasing Public Integrity; More Effectively Managing Public Resources Relevance Civic Participation; Accountability; Access to public information Ambition Increase the number of local authorities that are committed to implement measures related to OGP principles; Increase the number of social actors that participate in the decision-making process.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

9. Subnational open government

Commitment Text:

A set of recommendations regarding open local government will be drafted based on the OGP principles, and a pilot program modeled on the OGP Subnational Pilot will be initiated for 8 local governments.

Main Objective:

Increase citizen engagement in the decision-making process of local authorities and increase the involvement of local authorities in the OGP process.

Milestones:

    • Co-creation of set of recommendations on OGP principles for local public administration
    • Dissemination of information regarding these recommendations to local authorities
    • Organize regional information sessions with public authorities, NGOs, academia and other stakeholders to promote the OGP subnational principles (8 sessions)
    • Based on the model of the OGP Subnational Program process, launch an application session followed by the selection of 8 local public authorities that will be assisted in the development and implementation of local action plans
    • Implementation of local action plans developed by the local governments, with the support of NGOs and the OGP Coordination Unit: (1) hold local public debates and consultations;(2) identify local specific problems and priorities with the participation of all stakeholders; (3) set up local mixed action teams to draft and propose projects / solutions and implement them.
    • Select and award the best practices in OGP Subnational
    • Based on gained experience, develop an OGP action plan for local authorities for 2018-2020
    • Analysis of the opportunity and necessity, as well as identification of funding sources, for the development of a set of standardized, open-source tools to facilitate the online presence of local public authorities (website based on the provisions of the Memorandum on transparency; user interface allowing the update of the page even without having technical expertise; widgets that automatically retrieve particular information from centralized databases; instruments for participatory democracy; the development of a cloud service, managed by the MDRAP, including maintenance, that will hostfree of charge the local public authorities’ websites that use the standardized solution

Responsible Institution: Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP)

Supporting Institution(s): Chancellery of the Prime-Minister (CPM), Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue (MCPDC), County Councils, Open Data Coalition, Smart City and other NGOs with relevant experience

Start date: September 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 aimed to increase citizen engagement in decision-making at the local level. It aimed to create—together with civil society—a set of recommendations on OGP principles for local public administration and promote their application through regional information sessions and pilot exercises. On the basis of the pilot application of the recommendation, the commitment aimed to distill the best practices and to develop an action plan for implementing the OGP principles at the level of all local public administrations.

STATUS

Midterm: Limited

In June 2017, the Guide for Open Government Partnership at the Subnational level was published. [70]

End-of-term: Limited

According to the government’s self-assessment report, MDRAP emailed the Guide for Open Government Partnership at the Subnational level to all local administrations.  Moreover, the guide was made available on the MDRAP website. [71] Additionally, 111 local public administrations were selected [72] after they responded to the call of the MDRAP for local public administrations willing to implement this commitment.

All other milestones have not been started, although according to the government’s self-assessment report, funds were allocated to Milestones 3, 5, 6 and 8 through the SIPOCA 61 EU cofunded project. [73]

Did it Open Government?

Access to information: Marginal

The completion of Milestones 1 and 2 secured the development and the dissemination of a set of recommendations that local authorities can use to improve transparency and participation in the decision-making processes, including opening data (e.g. available platforms, tools, resources and support to implement open government reforms). However, these measures alone did not lead to the opening of data. According to two civil society representatives, the difficulty lied in the diverging interests of the local and the central administrations. For instance, local public authorities would have joined OGP if they could build their own more flexible local portal to engage the local IT community (e.g. to reutilize the data or collect more data on the basis of widgets), [74] and use it in their political campaigns. [75] Alternatively, central authorities wanted control over the local data (to ensure their reliability, safe storage, management, and homogeneous publication, etc.) because they, in turn, had to populate the European Data Portal in accordance to the European System of Open Data. Central authorities therefore preferred local data to be published on data.gov.ro. [76]

Consequently, the central administration had to persuade the local administration to join the OGP efforts. The solution was to publish them in two places: locally and on the national data portal. [77] To this end, outside Milestones 1 and 2, the Secretariat General of the Government (SGG) wrote the texts that local public administrations could use to accompany their data, and allowed the national portal to be embedded in other portals, thus eliminating the need for double updates. [78]  Furthermore, the open data methodology developed for Commitment 18  of this action plan included recommendations for procedures and publishing of data at the local level, without the obligation to publish on the national portal. Other local initiatives (e.g. in Alba Iulia [79] and in Timisoara [80]) that were started by the local civil society and IT industry, together with the local public authorities, have produced few datasets because of internal disagreements, or have produced unique datasets gathered by the widgets and sensors spread through the city. [81]

Civic participation: Did not change

The guide was coauthored by MDRAP, the Center for Public Innovation and Smart City Timisoara. [82] Nevertheless, according to a civil society representative, civil society was not involved in its dissemination. [83]

Carried forward?

This commitment will be continued in the 2018–2020 national action plan as Commitment 2: Open Government at local level.

[70] Guvernul Romaniei, “Recomandări privind Parteneriatul pentru Guvernare Deschisă la nivel local”, Centrul pentru Inovare Publică, Smart City Timișoara, 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2VOZTsh.

[71] “Peste 100 de unitati administrativ-teritoriale vor beneficia de indrumare metodologica in vederea implementarii valorilor Parteneriatului pentru o Guvernare Deschisa (OGP) la nivel local”, MDRAP, 1 November 2017 press release available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2Y5sYks.

[72] “List of selected local public administrations”, MDRAP, 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2PQOU00.

[73] “SIPOCA 61: Consolidarea Sistemelor De Integritate – Cea Mai Buna Strategie De Prevenire A Coruptiei În Administratia Publica”, MDRAP, 27 October 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2J4LEy3; “National Action Plan 2016-2018: Self-assessment report”, Open Government Partnership, 2018, pages 40-41, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2vv2yw7.

[74] Dan Bugariu, SmartCity, interview by IRM researcher on 14 November 2018.

[75] Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[76] Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[77] Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[78] Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[79] Civic Tech Romania describes the Open Data Alba Iulia [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2H9TXqF.

[80] “Primăria Timișoara – prima instituție locală ce contribuie la data.gov.ro”, Open Government Partnership Romania, 21 April 2014, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2NRIw7H.

[81] Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[82] “Recommendations regarding the open government partnership at local level”, Open Government Partnership, Centre for Public Innovation, Smart City Timisoara, 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2Voi0Kc.

[83] Dan Bugariu, SmartCity, 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