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Romania

Open Contracting (RO0046)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: National Agency for Public Procurement (ANAP) Digital Agenda Agency (AADR)

Support Institution(s): Chancellery of the Prime-Minister; Funky Citizens; Open Society Foundation

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Capacity Building, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Open Contracting and Public Procurement, Private Sector, Public Participation, Public Procurement, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Romania Mid-Term Report 2016-2018, 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 As public procurement represents one of the most important topics related to government transparency, the Government of Romania is in the process of implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard, as a tool to increase the transparency of public acquisitions and for the correct transposition of European directives. Main objective Increase the transparency and efficiency of public spending Brief description of commitment The commitment is a continuation of one of the priorities of the 2014-2016 NAP and its objective is to increase the transparency and efficiency of public spending by opening data collected through the electronic procurement system in the OCD standard, as well as by engaging citizens in the process. Data will cover planning, award, implementation, performance, and completion of public contracts. OCDS data will be directly accessible in the eLicitatie platform, even for users unskilled in automatic data collection / processing, by applying search filters on criteria such as contracting authority, economic operator, procurement name etc. OPG challenge addressed by the commitment Increasing public integrity More Effectively Managing Public Resources Access to information; Public Accountability; Civic Participation; Technology and Innovation Ambition Implementation of Open Contracting principles in a pilot conducted in one or more public institutions; Implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard in the national public procurement system.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

17. Open Contracting

Commitment Text:

The commitment is a continuation of one of the priorities of the 2014-2016 NAP and its objective is to increase the transparency and efficiency of public spending by opening data collected through the electronic procurement system in the OCD standard, as well as by engaging citizens in the process. Data will cover planning, award, implementation, performance, and completion of public contracts. OCDS data will be directly accessible in the e-Licitatie (e-Procurement) platform, even for users unskilled in automatic data collection / processing, by applying search filters on criteria such as contracting authority, economic operator, procurement name etc.

Main Objective:

Increase the transparency and efficiency of public spending.

Milestones:

    • Informing and training the public procurement staff in local and central public institutions
    • Implementation of the OCDS in the e-licitatie.ro portal (public procurement portal). Following the JSON standard, a webservice will serve API calls according to the OCDS, covering: Buyer Information, Tender/Initiation, Award, Contract, Implementation, Planning, Document, Budget, Item, Amendment, Classification, Contact Point, Value, Period.
    • Publishing the datasets resulted from the OCDS implementation, on the data.gov.ro portal
    • Selection of one or more public institutions for the implementation of a pilot on applying the OC principles (for all phases of the contracting process)
    • Piloting the implementation of OC principles in one public institution, in collaboration with civil society, in all phases: development / planning, awarding, execution, implementation / monitoring, completion, assessment

Responsible institution: National Agency for Public Procurement (ANAP) Digital Agenda Agency (AADR)

Supporting institution(s): Chancellery of the Prime-Minister, Funky Citizens; Open Society Foundation

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

With this commitment, AADR—the Romanian Digital Agenda Agency that is in charge of the public procurement e-licitatie.ro portal—pledged to adopt the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) for its procurement portal (Milestones 1 and 2) and publish it on data.gov.ro (Milestone 3). Finally, the commitment aimed to pilot the application of the open contracting principles (Milestones 4 and 5). This commitment was considered potentially transformative for making procurement information publicly accessible.

STATUS

Midterm: Not Started

This commitment was not started at the time of the IRM progress report.

End-of-term: Limited

According to the government’s self-assessment report, only the implementation of the OCDS in the e-licitatie.ro portal was started. In order to implement the OCDS in the procurement process in Romania the SEAP—the Electronic System for Public Procurement (eProcurement)—had to be redesigned. The tender specifications of SICAP—The Collaborative Information System for an Effective Public Procurement Environment—clearly mentioned that procurement data needed to comply with the OCDS. [116] A demo of the OCDS export facilities of SICAP was presented during an OGP Club meeting. [117] Nevertheless, UTI—the private contractor—had major delays in delivering SICAP, in part because of the UTI leadership being investigated for corruption. [118]

SICAP was launched in April 2018, but the data export component is not working, therefore SICAP cannot export the bulk data on data.gov.ro. [119] In December 2018, no bulk data on public procurements was published on data.gov.ro after the transition from SEAP to SICAP was completed.

Did it Open Government?

Access to information: Worsened

Although, SICAP—the new public procurement portal of the AADR that replaces SEAP—has a more user-friendly interface than SEAP, it remains largely an eProcurement system, not an open contracting system (i.e. the public consultations prior to tendering, the procurement contract, the additional documents to the contract, etc. are not included. [120]). SICAP also has not been able to publish bulk data to the national data portal, as SEAP did before.

The experts interviewed by the IRM researcher confirmed that SICAP had to be made in accordance to the OCDS. Nevertheless, since its releases in April 2018, and until November 2018, it did not export its bulk data to the national data portal. [121] Conversely, the previous system, SEAP, did publish the data in bulk, in an open format, and under an open license, every three months. Bulk data has proven to be essential for investigative journalists. Some of the biggest corruption scandals in Romania (Club COLECTIV [122] and the Disinfectants Scandal [123]) were triggered by investigative journalists analyzing the bulk data on data.gov.ro. A civil society representative argued that with some good programmers and the bulk data, corruption and bribery in public procurement can easily be uncovered. Otherwise, investigative journalists need to know exactly what to look for in order to uncover corruption. [124]

One interviewee suggested that manual searches and copy-paste exercises can still retrieve the bulk data from SICAP, though these can be tedious and very costly exercises. [125] To this end, it is easier to query in SICAP than in SEAP. [126] Furthermore, opinions were mixed as to whether SICAP really has implemented the OCDS principles. Some believe that SICAP simply has several technical problems to prevent the bulk data. [127] The IRM researcher was not able to find out the government position on this, as the leadership of the AADR did not respond to the two email invitations to discussion that the IRM researcher sent. [128]

Civic participation: Did not change

As the piloting of the implementation of the OCDS principles in one public institution, in collaboration with civil society, did not take place, this commitment did open government with respect to civic participation. Nevertheless, the absence of bulk data factually restricts civic participation in the broader fight against corruption.

Carried forward?

This commitment will not be continued in the 2018–2020 national action plan.

[116] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018, Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018, and Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[117] Minute 40 of the “Debate on the open governance of the NAP 2014–2016”, available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/CBCW1T.

[118] “Seful UTI Tiberiu Urdareanu retinut de DNA”, Economica, 29 October 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/LEsN7G.

[119] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018, and Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

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

[121] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018, Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018, and Andrei Nicoara, Open Data Coalition, interview by IRM researcher on 15 November 2018.

[122] “Colectiv nightclub fire”, Wikipedia, available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colectiv_nightclub_fire.

[123] Anealla Safdar, “Diluted disinfectant scandal hits Romania hospitals”, AlJazeera, 14 May 2016, available at https://goo.gl/2kDcRR.

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

[125] Bulk data refers to the entire dataset of public procurements. This bulk dataset can be recreated from the search portal if the user identifies each entry, separately by searching manually for the right keyword, and then by copy-pasting each entry onto their local hard drive. Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.

[126] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018 and Elena Calistru, Funky Citizens, interview by IRM researcher on 13 November 2018.

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

[128] Emails were sent to the address liviu.stoica@aadr.ro on 6 November 2018 and on 11 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, Access to Information

  10. National Investment Fund Transparency

    RO0057, 2018, Access to Information

  11. Civil Servant Training

    RO0058, 2018, Capacity Building

  12. Raise Awareness About Corruption

    RO0059, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Transparency of Seized Assets

    RO0060, 2018, Access to Information

  14. Access to Social Services

    RO0061, 2018, E-Government

  15. Open Access to Research

    RO0062, 2018, Access to Information

  16. Open Education

    RO0063, 2018, Access to Information

  17. Evaluate Open Data

    RO0064, 2018, Access to Information

  18. Open Data

    RO0065, 2018, Access to Information

  19. Improving the Legal Framework and Practices Regarding Access to Public Interest Information

    RO0030, 2016, Access to Information

  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

  29. Access to Performance Indicators Monitored in the Implementation of the National Anticorruption Strategy (SNA)

    RO0040, 2016, Access to Information

  30. Improve Transparency in the Management of Seized Assets

    RO0041, 2016, Access to Information

  31. Annual Mandatory Training of Civil Servants on Integrity Matters

    RO0042, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  32. Improving Access to Cultural Heritage

    RO0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  33. Open Data and Transparency in Education

    RO0044, 2016, Access to Information

  34. Virtual School Library and Open Educational Resources

    RO0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Open Contracting

    RO0046, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  36. Increasing the Quality and Quantity of Published Open Data

    RO0047, 2016, Access to Information

  37. Publishing the Public Interest Information on a Single Government Portal: Transparenta.Gov.Ro

    RO0019, 2014, Access to Information

  38. Making an Inventory of the Datasets Produced by the Ministries and Subordinate Agencies

    RO0020, 2014, Access to Information

  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, Access to Information

  41. Opening Data Collected from the National Health System

    RO0023, 2014, Access to Information

  42. Opening Data Collected from the Monitoring of Preventive Measures as Part of the National Anticorruption Strategy 2012-2015

    RO0024, 2014, Access to Information

  43. Open Contracting

    RO0025, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  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, Access to Information

  46. Human Resource Training in the Field of Open Data

    RO0028, 2014, Access to Information

  47. Disseminating Information on the OGP Principles and Promoting the Open Data Concept in an Accessible Manner

    RO0029, 2014,

  48. Designating a Person Responsible for Publishing Open Data in Each Public Institution

    RO0001, 2012, Access to Information

  49. Identifying Regulatory Needs, Logistical and Technical Solutions

    RO0002, 2012, Access to Information

  50. Making an Inventory of Available (High-Value) Data-Sets

    RO0003, 2012, Access to Information

  51. Priority Publishing on the Web Pages of Public Institutions of Specific Data-Sets

    RO0004, 2012, Access to Information

  52. Initiating Pilot-Projects, in Partnerships

    RO0005, 2012, Access to Information

  53. Organizing Public Debates on the Utility of Open Data, in Partnerships

    RO0006, 2012, Access to Information

  54. Uniform, Machine-Readable Publishing Format for Open Data

    RO0007, 2012, Access to Information

  55. Procedures for Publication of Data-Sets Based on Civil Society Recommendations

    RO0008, 2012, Access to Information

  56. Procedures for Citizen Complaints Pertaining to Open Data

    RO0009, 2012, Access to Information

  57. Consultation Mechanism Between Suppliers and Beneficiaries of Open Data

    RO0010, 2012, Access to Information

  58. Creating a Rating System for the Assessment of High-Value Data-Sets

    RO0011, 2012, Access to Information

  59. Routinely Publishing Specific Data-Sets on Web Pages of Public Institutions

    RO0012, 2012, Access to Information

  60. Integrating Open Data from Public Institutions in a Single National Platform

    RO0013, 2012, Access to Information

  61. Inventories of Data, in Order to Facilitate Public Access

    RO0014, 2012, Access to Information

  62. Institute a Monitoring Mechanism of Compliance for Open Data

    RO0015, 2012, Access to Information

  63. Stimulating the Market for Innovative Use of Open Data

    RO0016, 2012, Access to Information

  64. Routinely Publishing Data-Sets on the National Platform, 25% High-Value

    RO0017, 2012, Access to Information

  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, Access to Justice

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