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Romania

Open Local Government (RO0049)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration (MDRAP), Directorate for Ethics, Integrity and Good Governance

Support Institution(s): Secretariat General of the Government, County Councils, Centre for Public Innovation

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the public problem that the
commitment will address?
At the level of the local public administration
authorities, the degree of information and
engagement on open government is low. There are
initiatives and examples of good practice, but in the
absence of better communication and dissemination
of information, they are not replicated at the local
government level.
Commitment description
What is the commitment?
Starting from the set of OGP principles,
recommendations for open local government were
developed and an enrolment session will open in a
pilot program with 8 administrative-territorial units
based on the OGP Local Program model.
How will the commitment contribute to
solve the public problem?
- Increasing the number of local public
administration authorities committing to specific
measures for implementing OGP values;
- Increasing the number of social actors involved in
the decision-making process.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP
values?
Increasing the involvement of local public
administration authorities in the OGP process, as
well as citizen engagement in the decision-making
process of these authorities.
Milestone activity with a verifiable
deliverable
Responsible agency /
partner
Start Date: End Date:
Regional information sessions for
promoting the Open Government
MDRAP 2018 2018
10
Recommendations for Local Authorities (8
sessions - 111 local public authorities)
Implementation by the selected
authorities of local action plans for their
proposed projects with the support of the
OGP central unit and NGOs already
involved in the OGP process:
i. Local consultations;
ii. Identifying local level issues and
priorities by involving all stakeholders;
iii. Establishing local teams for
developing and implementing
collaborative projects / solutions.
MDRAP January
2019
September
2019
Awarding the OGP at the local level Best
Practice Award
MDRAP October
2019
Additional information
Correlation with other government
programs/strategies
National Anticorruption Strategy
Budget required (lei): Resources were allocated through the EU funded
project "Strengthening Integrity Systems - the Best
Strategy to Prevent Corruption in Public
Administration", SIPOCA 61, managed by DIBGPP.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. Open Government at local level

Commitment Text: "Starting from the set of OGP principles, recommendations for open local government were developed and an enrolment session will open in a pilot program with 8 administrative-territorial units based on the OGP Local Program model."

Commitment Milestones:

    • Regional information sessions for promoting the Open Government Recommendations for Local Authorities (8 sessions - 111 local public authorities)
    • Implementation by the selected authorities of local action plans for their proposed projects with the support of the OGP central unit and NGOs already involved in the OGP process: (i) Local consultations; (ii) Identifying local level issues and priorities by involving all stakeholders; (iii) Establishing local teams for developing and implementing collaborative projects / solutions.
    • Awarding the OGP at the local level Best Practice Award

Start Date: 2018

End Date: October 2019

Editorial Note: The commitment text is abridged. The full text can be found in the OGP 2018-2020 national action plan.

Context and Objectives

The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP) conducts yearly monitoring activities of the implementation of Romania’s National Anticorruption Strategy (SNA) 2016-2020. [14] These monitoring rounds show that at the level of the local public administration authorities, the degree of information provision, and engagement on open government is low. [15] This commitment, a continuation of Commitment 9 from the previous plan (2016-2018), aims to: (1) increase the number of local public authorities committed to implementing OGP values and (2) increase the number of social actors (e.g., local civil society organizations) involved in the decision-making process. The latter makes the commitment clearly relevant to citizen participation, while the former, by pressing local public administrations to apply the 2017 "Guide for Open Government Partnership at the Sub-national level," [16] supports the access to information.

The commitment proposes three verifiable milestones. However, the planned activities are of minor potential impact because:

  • Some of the 111 local public administrations had already been given technical support [17] on their open governance projects, during earlier on-site visits. [18] Moreover, some (e.g., Timisoara and Oradea) have already taken steps to further OGP principles locally. The MDRAP representative argued that training sessions are essential to helping local civil servants internalize the concept of open governance and putting additional institutional pressure on them to adhere to the Guide’s recommendations. [19] Nevertheless, the commitment does not specify the amount of local action plans that need to be implemented, and does set minimum targets for action plan developments. Moreover, while institutional pressure is important, the potential impact of this activity, when the trained sample is 3.5 percent of the 3,228 total public administration, is limited.
  • Similarly, while MDRAP will launch a call for local civil society organizations to attend the information sessions, the experience of collaborating with civil society organizations on the SNA, suggests few will participate. [20]
  • Finally, the competition is sponsored through an EU cofounded project, aiming to create a network of good practices and to reward and to disseminate them. [21] In the presence of "sticks," in the form of a periodic monitoring on the progress made on implementing the SNA, the "carrot" of a prize may offer a complementary motivation for the local public administrations that perform above average. [22]

Next steps

This commitment is important considering the opaque governance of local public authorities, and the decision making, acquisition, and spending of public funds (additionally illustrated through Commitment 10 in this action plan). As the training sessions were also used as sources of inspiration as to how to best further OGP values at the local level, [23] the following recommendations can help improve the commitments’ implementation as well as the design if continued in the next action plan:

  • Reach more administrations. MDRAP and SGG should extend the training to reach more than the 3.5 percent of the total local public administrations currently proposed by this commitment by providing more (in-person) trainings, using online tools, or by selecting trainers among the "Integrity Champions" to dissipate the knowledge to the neighboring administrations.
  • Consult more diverse administrations. MDRAP and SGG could connect with, train, and consult with "noninterested" local public administrations (not only with the 111 that self-selected themselves into the program). To this end, they can identify the administrations with the poorest performance in the annual SNA monitoring rounds.
  • Understand why some CSOs are no longer engaging. MDRAP could consult with previously cooperative civil society organizations (in the context of the SNA-monitoring activities) who are not eager to engage now, to identify and resolve ongoing issues and restart cooperation with the civil society.
  • Promote evidence-based civic engagement efforts. Earlier IRM suggestions and recent academic work [24] suggest that public servants need to first open governance and then solicit the collaboration of civil society. To this end, MDRAP could encourage local public administrations to first credibly commit to opening governance (e.g., by opening sample datasets) before attempting to forge partnerships and build collaborative projects.
  • Set open governance targets to the 111 local public administrations and beyond. MDRAP and SGG could monitor the open governance performance of local public administrations on an annual basis, and then impose targets for local action plans to further the OGP values, especially among the 111 trained administrations.
  • Allow civil society to co-select the indicators and co-validate performance. In order to avoid a "box-ticking" exercise, MDRAP and SGG could motivate local CSOs to co-select the open governance targets and co-validate the performance of their local administrations.

[14] The National Anticorruption Strategy 2016-2020 is available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2Nt7pd8.

[15] The MDRAP monitoring reports are available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2LAiG92.

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

[17] The MDRAP representative argued that the MDRAP gives (1) Direct Technical Assistance (e.g., support during on-sight visits), and (2) Indirect Technical Assistance (e.g., email and telephone support) through the SNA.

[18] Interview with Andreea Grigore, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP), 19 April 2019.

[19] Interview with Andreea Grigore, MDRAP, 19 April 2019.

[20] Ibid.

[21] "Reteaua Campionilor Competition", MDRAP, 1 July 2019, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2xvyilV.

[22] "Carrot and Stick Approach of Motivation", Business Jargons, available at https://bit.ly/2k7UU9a.

[23] Interview with Andreea Grigore, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP), on 4 September 2019.

[24] Rodrik, D. (2013) "When ideas trump interests: preferences, world views, and policy innovations", Institute for Advanced Studies, working papers, available at https://bit.ly/2YyKoqi.


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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