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Romania

Access to Information – Local (RO0053)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Secretariat General of the Government (SGG), Directorate for Open Government and Civil Society

Support Institution(s): Ministries, Associative structures of the local public administration at city and municipality level Centre for Public Innovation

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Legislation & Regulation, Legislative, 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

Extending standards on access to public information at the level of local public authorities
2018-2020 Lead implementing agency/actor Secretariat General of the Government (SGG), Directorate for Open Government and Civil Society Other actors involved State actors Ministries CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups Associative structures of the local public administration at city and municipality level Centre for Public Innovation What is the public problem that the commitment will address? At the level of the local public administration authorities, analyses of the current situation reveal a lower focus of transparency and access to information than in central administration. Commitment description What is the commitment? SGG will continue to develop and expand the application of standards developed in the "Memorandum on Enhancing Transparency and Standardizing Public Interest Information" and in the "Memorandum for the Establishment of the Single Register of Transparency of Interests" at the level of municipalities and cities. How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? - applying a minimum standard for local public authorities for displaying public interest information; - reducing the number of requests for information already found on the web pages of institutions; - increase the general level of information available to citizens. Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Increase transparency in the local public sector by standardized publication of an increased amount of public interest information Milestone activity with a verifiable deliverable Responsible agency / partner Start Date: End Date: 16 The half-yearly monitoring of the compliance of the target group practices covered by this commitment (municipalities) with the provisions of the two Memorandums SGG 2018 2020 Identifying the most frequent issues in the ex-officio provision of public interest information in a standardized manner by the target group: 1 public consultation, online questionnaire SGG / NGOs 2018 2020 Developing and updating the RUTI platform to include interactions between target group representatives covered by this commitment (municipalities) and specialized groups SGG / MDRAP, MAI (TBD) 2018 2020 Half-yearly training sessions for the persons in charge with implementing the provisions of Law no. 544/2001 regarding the access to information of public interest within the target group covered by this commitment SGG 2018 2020 Additional information Correlation with other government programs/strategies National Anticorruption Strategy 2016-2020, Strategy for Strengthening Public Administration 2014-2020

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Extending standards on access to public information at the level of local public authorities

Commitment Text: "SGG will continue to develop and expand the application of standards developed in the "Memorandum on Enhancing Transparency and Standardizing Public Interest Information" and in the "Memorandum for the Establishment of the Single Register of Transparency of Interests" at the level of municipalities and cities."

Milestones:

    • The half-yearly monitoring of the compliance of the target group practices covered by this commitment (municipalities) with the provisions of the two Memorandums
    • Identifying the most frequent issues in the ex-officio provision of public interest information in a standardized manner by the target group: 1 public consultation, online questionnaire
    • Developing and updating the RUTI platform to include interactions between target group representatives covered by this commitment (municipalities) and specialized groups
    • Half-yearly training sessions for the persons in charge with implementing the provisions of Law no. 544/2001 regarding the access to information of public interest within the target group covered by this commitment

Start Date: 2018 ...............................................

End Date: 2020

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

Context and Objectives

In 2016, an inter-ministerial Memorandum was signed, [57] according to which the signatories agreed to publish the same type of information and in the same format under law 544/2001 and agreed to publish the agendas of their high-level officials on the Unique Transparency of Interests Register (RUTI). The information to be provided, according to the Memorandum, falls into three categories: (1) information about the institution (i.e., legislation, leadership, organization, programs and strategies, reports and studies), (2) public interest information (e.g., Freedom of Information [FOI] forms and requests, budget, financial balances, public procurement), and (3) contact information (e.g., contact, address, email, opening time). The Secretariat General of the Government (SGG) periodically monitors the implementation of the Memorandum that was considered the benchmark of good practices for transparency. [58] In 2018 only 49.7 percent of local public authorities (which are autonomous and did not sign the Memorandum) conformed with the Memorandum requirements, [59] in contrast to 85 percent of central public authorities. [60]

This commitment aims to increase transparency through trainings, aid in using the RUTI platform, and identify structural particularities of local public administration that may prevent compliance with the 2016 Memorandum. Milestone 6.2 includes some consultations with local civil society organizations, which is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation (even though they are not designed on a recurring basis). All four milestones are sufficiently specific that the commitment can be verified.

Like Commitment 2 of this action plan, to which this commitment is closely related, [61] the sample of 111 local public authorities that are consulted, trained, and monitored constitutes approximately 3 percent of the total population of local public authorities in Romania. This could limit the impact of this commitment. [62] Since this sample is not randomly selected (see the assessment of Commitment 2 in this report), and therefore it is unclear how representative its findings are for other local public authorities. Moreover, the impact of this commitment is limited by the autonomous nature of the local public administration.

An interviewed SGG representative acknowledged these limitations, arguing that this commitment is intended as a first step towards extending the standards of the 2016 Memorandum at the local level. [63] Currently, either local administrations needs to be convinced to join voluntarily the list of Memorandum signatories, or the Memorandum needs to be transferred into law. Voluntary compliance is preferred at this stage, as it allows SGG to understand what (if anything) needs to be changed in the 2016 Memorandum to meaningfully apply it at local level. [64]

Next steps

Moving forward, the IRM researcher suggests the following:

  • SGG does not have the budget to train or monitor the public information provision of the entire population of local authorities. Therefore, SGG and Ministry for Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP) could select among the 111 local public authorities, several "transparency champions," and empower them to train and consult other local authorities within their network or geographical reach in order to create a multiplier effect.
  • SGG could summarize and organize the feedback received from the 111 local public authorities, and then check (by means of a larger public consultation) if they reflect well the needs of the entire population of local public authorities in Romania. Input could therefore be required from the part of national-level CSOs (e.g., Center for Public Innovation [CPI]) that are now listed as implementation partners, but whose contributions have not been requested [65] or clearly envisioned.

[57] Ministry of Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue, Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Secretariat General of the Government, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Public Finance, and National Agency of Public Procurements (2016). "Creşterea Transparenţei Şi Standardizarea Afişării Informaţiilor De Interes Public", available [in Romanian] at https://goo.gl/tj1Xz9.

[58] Interview with Madalina Mitroi, General Secretariat of the Government (SGG), 17 April 2019.

[59] SGG (2018) "Analiza rezultatelor procesului de monitorizare a autoritatilor si institutiior publice cu privire la afisarea din oficiu, standardizata a informatiilor de interés public in perioada 2017-2018", pg. 15, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2WRY4v2.

[60] SGG (2018) "Analiza rezultatelor procesului de monitorizare a autoritatilor si institutiior publice cu privire la afisarea din oficiu, standardizata a informatiilor de interés public in perioada 2017-2018", pp. 26-29., available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2WRY4v2.

[61] Interview with Madalina Mitroi, SGG, 30 August 2019.

[62] SGG (2018) "Analiza rezultatelor procesului de monitorizare a autoritatilor si institutiior publice cu privire la afisarea din oficiu, standardizata a informatiilor de interés public in perioada 2017-2018", pp. 26-29, available [in Romanian] at https://bit.ly/2WRY4v2.

[63] Interview with Madalina Mitroi, SGG, 17 April 2019.

[64] Interview with Madalina Mitroi, SGG, 17 April 2019.

[65] Interview with Ovidiu Voicu, Center for Public Innovation (CPI), 16 April 2019.


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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