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Romania

Increasing the Quality and Quantity of Published Open Data (RO0047)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Chancellery of the Prime-Minister

Support Institution(s): Ministries; Local public authorities; Coalition for Open Data

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Environment and Climate, Fiscal Transparency, Open Contracting and Procurement, Open Data, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Records Management

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

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 Publishing open data from the public authorities and institutions represents one of the modern means to increase transparency and efficiency in public administration. Law 109/2007 on the re-use of public information, that was the first regulation of the open data framework in Romania, is not widely known nor implemented, and Romania’s open data publishing and reuse commitments are deemed unsatisfactory by both civil society and international researchers. Main objective The main objective of this commitment is to promote and increase transparency in public administration and improve citizen dialogue by improving the means and procedures to publish open data from the public institutions and authorities. Brief description of commitment The commitment is part of the project ”Improving the quality and number of datasets published by public institutions” that will be funded through the European Social Fund 2020 and aims to: A) improve the open data publishing methodology; B) provide a series of training sessions and support documents for open data management for the staff in public central and local institutions; C) improve the quality of data published on data.gov.ro; D) Encourage the re-use of data; E) increase the number of datasets published on data.gov.ro OPG challenge addressed by the commitment Increasing public integrity; More effectively managing public resources Relevance Access to information; Public Accountability; Civic participation; Technology and Innovation Ambition 1. Development of an open data methodology and a public policy that would represent landmarks for the public institutions publishing open data; 2. Training for 200 persons from the local and central public administration 3. Improve the quality and number of open datasets; 4. Advance the re-use of available datasets in the benefit of both public institutions and citizens.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

18. Increasing the quality and quantity of published open data

Commitment Text:

The commitment is part of the project” Improving the quality and number of datasets published by public institutions” that will be funded through the European Social Fund 2020 and aims to: (1) improve the open data publishing methodology; (2) provide a series of training sessions and support documents for open data management for the staff in public central and local institutions; (3) improve the quality of data published on data.gov.ro; (4) Encourage the re-use of data; (5) increase the number of datasets published on data.gov.ro.

Main Objective:

Promote and increase transparency in public administration and improve citizen dialogue by improving the means and procedures to publish open data from the public institutions and authorities.

Milestones:

    • Improve the open data publishing methodology by updating and improving the 2015 Guide and assessing the framework for a public policy proposal that would ensure implementation of procedures in all public institutions, publication of datasets on a regular basis and correlation with the linked governmental strategies.
    • Organize 13 training session for staff in local and central public administration (200 persons)
    • Pilot the automatic publishing on the data.gov.ro portal of open data from public procurement (open contracting), tax registers and air quality (through APIs)
    • Encourage and assist public institutions in organizing competitions (hackathons) using open data, to develop solutions for specific issues. At least 4 hackathons will be organized, in sectors where institutions already showed interest in promoting the re-use of data, and civil society representatives agreed on the utility of such competitions (culture, education, local government, anticorruption, citizens’ budgets etc.)
    • Centralized publishing on the national open data portal of priority, high value datasets (budget, education, culture, health, labor, environment and others). Monitoring of regular updates of datasets that are already published. Identify and publish new datasets, in collaboration with civil society.

Responsible institution: Chancellery of the Prime-Minister/ Secretariat General of the Government (SGG)

Supporting institution(s): Ministries; Local public authorities, Coalition for Open Data

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

The commitment aimed to improve the methodology, train national and local government staff, and improve the quality and quantity of data published on data.gov.ro (Milestones 1 and 2). It envisions piloting automatic publishing of data on procurement, tax registers, and air quality (through application programming interfaces [APIs]) (Milestone 3), and organizing thematic hackathons (milestone 4), while centralizing and improving access to high value datasets as determined through consultation with civil society (Milestone 5).

STATUS

Midterm: Limited

The first three milestones were not started at the time of the IRM progress report, due to delays in the procurement of consulting services. Milestone 4 was substantially completed; three hackathons were organized in 2016 and 2017 with the goal of creating apps for healthcare, social policies, environment, smart cities, policies/strategies, education, and culture. The IRM progress report noted that the number of opened datasets increased, although the quality remained uneven.

End-of-term: Substantial

The SGG wrote the open data publishing methodology and published it under open license in July 2018. [129] According to the government’s self-assessment report, the SGG analysis revealed that designing a public policy for open data is not desirable in the context of the current European and national technical and legal frameworks. [130] 200 public servants, in particular leadership, and 200 IT experts (20 from local administrations, and 180 from the central public administration, including the subordinated institutions [131]) were trained in June–July 2018. [132] According to the OGP representative, the target group was members of the central public administration to consolidate the SGG’s prior efforts to stimulate and incentivize them to open public interest data. [133] Moreover, training course materials were published under open license in May 2018. [134] Milestone 3 is not started, according to the government’s self-assessment report. [135] The OGP representatives, however, argued that the data.gov.ro portal already offers an API that public institutions can use to upload and download data, but that the problem lies with the IT departments of the public institutions that do not have the ability to handle large datasets through APIs. [136]

Milestone 4 was partially completed, as three hackathons were organized in September 2016, [137] March 2017, [138] and March 2018 [139] on the following themes: health, public policies, environment, smart city, culture, and education. According to the government’s self-evaluation report, Milestone 5 is also partially completed as, in March 2018, data.gov.ro contained approximately 1,400 datasets (an increase from 633 datasets in 2016). Moreover, 217 of the 259 datasets that public institutions committed to have been published. [140] Moreover, the government’s self-assessment report [141] finds that datasets that need updating monthly are updated, but that those that require a more frequent update lag behind. Finally, the OGP representative stated that the quality of the data published on the national portal has also increased, though datasets that are not of high quality, and that may include errors, still exist. [142]

Did it Open Government?

Access to information: Major

According to OGP representatives, changing the mentality of public servants, as well as the development of their know-how (i.e. how to open datasets or which IT system allows this best) is a cumbersome and lengthy process. Consequently, training public servants on how to exercise the opening of new datasets that are relevant for the public has been instrumental for the current (and future) increase in new opened datasets. [143] The opened datasets already doubled during the implementation of the third national action plan (from 633 in 2016 to approximately 1400 in 2018), and 83.8% of the designated datasets were opened. Furthermore, data from the national portal has been used by an NGO to build an app (baniitai.info) that has been instrumental in uncovering the hospitals that bought the counterfeit detergent in the landmark corruption case Hexi Pharma. [144]

Civic participation: Marginal

In spite of the progress noted on the organization of three hackathons to engage the public in the development of custom solutions for the public administration, these activities did not succeed in generating long-term engagement. For instance, The Ministry of Culture and National Identity (MCNI) representative argued that political changes impeded a deeper collaboration between civil society and the MCNI, and that the MCNI did not monitor the development of the applications that won the hackathon. [145] Moreover, a civil society representative argued that hackathons can only be a first step to stimulate the building of new products on the open data. [146]

Carried forward?

This commitment will be continued in the 2018–2020 national action plan as Commitment 18: “Publication of open data.

[129] Metodologie de publicare a datelor deschise – v. 02.2019 is available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/GbBTz7.

[130] “National Action Plan 2016-2018: Self-assessment report”, Open Government Partnership, 2018, page 67, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2vv2yw7.

[131] “Sesiuni de instruire date deschise”, Open Government Partnership, 6 June 2018, press release available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2LEvmNZ.

[132] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018.

[133] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018.

[134] Open Data Resources are available at https://goo.gl/vbdAHr.

[135] “National Action Plan 2016-2018: Self-assessment report”, Open Government Partnership, 2018, page 68, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2vv2yw7.

[136] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018.

[137] “Diplohack – 9 septembrie 2016”, OGP Romania, 11 August 2016, press release available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2CcxIMw.

[138] “ZiuaDatelorDeschise – București, 4 martie 2017”, Open Government Partnership, 24 February 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/j1v4FN.

[139] “Înscrie-te la Culture Hack! Scoatecultura din tipare!”, OGP Romania, 21 November 2017, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2Uu2rfr.

[140] “National Action Plan 2016-2018: Self-assessment report”, Open Government Partnership, 2018, page 68, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2vv2yw7.

[141] “National Action Plan 2016-2018: Self-assessment report”, Open Government Partnership, 2018, page 68, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2vv2yw7.

[142] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018.

[143] Larisa Panait and Angela Benga, OGP Romania, interview by IRM researcher on 6 November 2018.

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

[145] Cristina Cotenescu and Mihai Monoranu, Ministry of Culture and National Identity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.

[146] Ovidiu Voicu, Centre for Public Integrity, interview by IRM researcher on 8 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