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Sao Paulo, Brazil

Create a Network of Civil Servants Involving All City Hall Secretariats, Entities and Public Venues, Dialoguing with Ciga (The Intersecretarial Committee on Open Government) and São Paulo Aberta (Open São Paulo Initiative). (SAO0004)



Action Plan: São Paulo, Brazil Action Plan

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Intersecretarial Committee of Open Government of São Paulo (CIGA-SP) and Municipal Secretariat for International and Federative Relations

Support Institution(s): São Paulo Aberta and Municipal School of Public Administration of São Paulo (EMASP in Portuguese); Shared Management Forum

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: São Paulo IRM Report 2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Issue to be Addressed: An agenda on open government has not yet been established as a State policy in municipal administration level. Primary Objective: Stimulate the development and partnership between municipal civil servants of diverse sectors (secretariats, entities and municipal public venues) with CIGA (Intersecretarial committee on Open Government) and São Paulo Aberta, seeking to establish a greater reach of open government themes among civil servants. Short Description: Expand the institutionalization of open government policies through the creation of a wide network of civil servants in partnership with CIGA and São Paulo Aberta. OGP Challenge: The creation of a new dialogue channel among municipal civil servants will bring them in closer alignment with open government values, facilitating the development of transversal public policies on open government between municipal secretariats and departments.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4. Institutionalization: Create a network of civil servants working on open government

Commitment text:

Create a network of civil servants involving all City Hall secretariats, entities and public venues, dialoguing with CIGA (the Intersecretarial Committee on Open Government) and São Paulo Aberta (Open São Paulo Initiative).


1. Create a statute to this network with the definition of principles and roles for its members, elaborating a campaign of outreach and sensibilization on the importance of open government initiatives and mobilizing servants to take part in the network.

2. Nominate two servants per secretariat, with a participative profile, being one of them a permanent civil servant.

3. Conduct meetings with CIGA and São Paula Aberta representatives every three months to develop transversal initiatives on open government and promote open government trainings in each secretariat.

Commitment overview


Commitment Aim

Overall Objective & Relevance

This commitment tries to address the lack of an institutional open government agenda within the São Paulo administration. It also aims to promote City Hall civil servant awareness of, involvement in, and commitment on open government themes. It moves toward an internal reform, promoting greater buy-in of the open government agenda within the municipal public administration and among civil servants.

The government proposes to establish a wide network of civil servants committed to open government initiatives within their own areas of work. This network would operate in close collaboration with the Inter-Secretarial Committee of Open Government (CIGA). CIGA is in charge of strengthening, connecting, and disseminating the open government agenda, actions, and policies in São Paulo. See Executive Decree No. 54.794, from 28 January 2014,

Through this network, civil servants would receive theoretical and hands-on trainings on open government. These trainings would include those about improving compliance with the municipal access to information law and about developing open government pilot initiatives.

This commitment constitutes a laudable step to advance internal awareness raising, capacity building, and promotion of political buy-in for open government reforms. However, this commitment, as articulated, does not meet the IRM test of 'clear relevance' to OGP values due to the lack of a public-facing element. According to the IRM Procedures Manual, clearly relevant commitments are not privileged or internal to government. Hence, in spite of aiming to strengthen internal mechanisms and build capacity, this commitment lacks the necessary complementary, public open government activities (for municipal citizens). For instance, it does not include initiatives calling for the publication of government-held information or those involving citizens in decision-making processes. See IRM Procedures Manual, pp. 30-32,

Specificity and Potential Impact

The commitment language would benefit from fine-tuning to present clearer, verifiable activities and measurable deliverables, since some of the language can be subject to interpretation. For example, it is unclear how many 'transversal initiatives on open government' and 'open government trainings in each secretariat' are to be carried out and what their timeframes are. Greater specificity would help in commitment implementation and the planning of future network activities.

If fully implemented as written, this commitment could have a transformative impact. The network constitutes a major step forward in the institutionalization of municipal open government initiatives. It also could serve as a concrete tool to foster internal change among local civil servants and create political buy-in. In the long run, accompanied by other internal consolidation efforts - such as CIGA enlargement and empowerment - this network could bea highly transformative tool. A positive sign exists in the inclusion of the five OGP-related commitments in the City Mayor's Goals for 2017-2020, approved early 2017 (please refer to the Institutional and Subnational Context and Scope of Action Plan section). Having become part of the City Mayor's Goals, some activities have gained a four-year implementation plan, with concrete deadlines and deliverables.


The government completed the first milestone for this commitment in time. It formally launched the Open INFO Network (Rede INFO Aberta) in May 2017. The network is legally bounded by an inter-secretarial administrative act (portaria) issued on 29 May 2017. See the publication in the Official Gazette of 9 June 2017, http://www.docidadesp.imprenSã This administrative act associates the new network with existing obligations provided for in the Federal Access to Information Law (2011), the Municipal Executive Decree installing the São Paulo Aberta Initiative (2014), and the OGP 2017 pilot action plan. The act also regulates the workings of the network. This work should be devoted to trainings, capacity building, and dissemination of open government principles, concepts, and tools within the City Hall public administration. The act updates the network's scope from a purely access to information focus According to Gustavo Vidigal, former São Paulo's OGP point of contact, the previous Open INFO Network was comprised of around 250 civil servants. Interview with Gustavo Vidigal (8 May 2017). to a broader open government mandate. It creates the role of the open government focal point as an addition to the role of access to information focal point (commonly referred to as E-SIC focal points). The new role now exists in all public departments.

To officially launch the Open INFO Network, the Office of the Municipal Comptroller (CGM) hosted an event on 18 May 2017. The event brought together more than 100 people, including civil servants from secretariats and Regional Prefectures. See official City Hall news on the event,, accessed 8 November 2017. The launching coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Brazilian national access to information law. Dr. Mendes was discharged from the position later in the year, in August 2017. For more on the episode, see the Institutional and Subnational Context and Scope of Action Plan section. The then Integrity Promotion Division (COPI) coordinator, Thomaz Anderson Barbosa da Silva, Thomaz resign after Dr. Mendes de Barros was dismissed in August 2017. outlined the dual trainings streams to be promoted by the network in 2017. One would involve access to information-related issues, including tailored trainings on how to comply with the municipal access to information legislation and how to solve practical access to information issues. The second stream would focus on open government issues. Barbosa presented the public with the meeting calendar for the year, as well as the thematic focus for each of the scheduled trainings. For the launching, COPI reached out to civil servants already engaged in previous Open INFO Network activities. COPI sent further invites electronically.

Regarding the second milestone, the COPI/CGM team secured two official nominations from relevant secretariats and Regional Prefectures to represent their departments in the network. According to Vanessa Menegueti from COPI/CGM, secretariats and Regional Prefectures have also officially nominated two other civil servants to the Open INFO Network as open government focal points. Besides official nominations, COPI/CGM initially mapped at least 85 other interested civil servants willing to take part in the initiative. See 'General Comptroller of the Municipality Launches the €˜Open Info Network,' Prefeitura de Sao Paulo Controladoria Geral,

The government also completed the third milestone on time. It refers to hosting the network activities throughout 2017, namely the meetings and trainings. For the first stream on access to information, CGM worked with the Municipal School of Public Administration of São Paulo (EMASP). They planned and executed a 16-hour course (divided into four sessions) for the access to information (or E-SIC) focal points. The course grants official certification and career incentives for civil servants completing the trainings. See 'Access to Information Course Syllabus' in the 'São Paulo_ IRM Repository of Evidences' folder, available at Civil servants at CGM reported that 70 municipal civil servants registered. Yet effective participation was not sustained at those levels, decreasing to approximately 30 civil servants in the last two meetings. Nonetheless, the CGM course coordinators deemed those who attended as very committed. Interview with Vanessa Menegueti, civil servant at CGM (14 November 2017). Figures were provided to the IRM researcher by the COPI/CGM team, along with the attendance sheet for all workshops hosted in 2017. For the second stream on open government, the government successfully hosted four meetings (in June, August, October, and December). The IRM researcher attended the launching meetings as well as the second network meeting in August 2017. These meetings focused on open government themes such as participation, integrity, technological innovation. They used hands-on experiences from current initiatives in City Hall, such as Pátio Digital from the Secretariat of Education and the integrity and anti-corruption initiatives in the Environment Secretariat. Trainings also included sessions for civil servants to design potential pilot open government initiatives for their own departments, to be implemented in the future. According to Vanessa Menegueti from COPI/CGM, initial trainings gathered between 80 and 100 people, but participation went down to around 30 civil servants in the final meetings. Participants came from different public departments, including sectorial secretariats (such as Education, Health, Sports, and Human Rights and Citizenship, to name a few) and Regional Prefectures. They also hailed from decentralized departments responsible for local urban maintenance and for coordinating service delivery in the territories. Official attendance sheets (the IRM researcher was given an electronic copy) count 80 civil servants taking part in the first workshop (June 2017), 58 in the second (August 2017), 31 in the third (October 2017), and 35 in the final (December 2017). Unlike in the trainings for the first group, CGM did not host trainings on open government jointly with EMASP. According to Menegueti, the level of commitment and obligations EMASP courses traditionally require was perceived by CGM as unnecessarily rigid for the first year. They thought the requirements imposed an extra burden on civil servants at this stage, risking demotivating rather than incentivizing those who wanted to commit on a voluntary basis but could not assure attendance at all courses. Because of the open government trainings, City Hall encouraged each secretariat to set up its own pilot open government plan and publicly announce them during the fourth workshop. This workshop would feature a joint meeting for civil servants of both training streams (access to information and open government). They would be joined by high authorities from the secretariats as well. The joint meeting never happened. Nonetheless, in the final meeting of the open government stream, hosted on 1 December 2017, different governmental institutions presented 12 pilot projects to be implemented from 2018 on. Projects presented included pilot access to information and open data initiatives from line secretariats such as Transport and Environment. The Transport project would enhance responsiveness to information requests on city mobility and transportation issues. The Environment project would provide open data on public planting. Also, among the Regional Prefectures projects was Lapa, which would create a GIS-map of trees in the neighborhood. The Regional Prefectures project Vila Mariana would create an integrated database on local services provided by the Regional Prefecture. The full list of governmental institutions having presented open government pilot projects for 2018 include SPTrans, SMRI, CET, CGM, SMPED, SMADS, SMG, SMIT, SVMA, Regional Prefecture Lapa, Regional Prefecture Vila Mariana, and PGM. The IRM researcher was given access to all 10 presentations in their original PowerPoint format.

Early results: did it open government?
Access to information: Marginal

This commitment responds to a shared diagnosis by City Hall staff working on open government and nongovernmental stakeholders who play a monitoring role. They agree on the importance of institutionalization in sustaining existing open government initiatives by promoting internal buy-in from civil servants and creating internal champions and reformers for future initiatives. Thus, the commitment aimed to build on the existing civil servants' network on access to information while expanding its thematic focus to other relevant open government areas.

The initial diagnosis, done in 2016, had specifically identified a set of institutionalization challenges. There was a need to move beyond transparency as a thematic boundary. Institutionalization efforts needed to involve and engage high-level authorities in a larger number of sectorial secretariats. They also had to include Regional Prefectures and local public facility managers as network members and beneficiaries of capacity-building interventions.

Based on those objectives, the IRM researcher found evidence of encouraging initial achievements at an output level. Achievements occurred in terms of capacity-building activities and initial mobilization of civil servants to autonomously execute pilot open government projects within their own policy areas. Early results from those commitments include, for instance, 12 new pilot projects, mostly transparency-related, from civil servants in a range of policy sectors. They designed these projects and publicly presented them to the network. The projects will be implemented in their departments from 2018 on. See 'Minutes of the XII Forum Meeting (13/07/2017),' to which the IRM researcher had access. The IRM researcher also found positive effects even when secretariats were not able to put in place a project proposal. The Open INFO Network's inspirational and sensitizing role still prompted some of them, such as the Secretariat of Human Rights and Citizenship, to internally commit to this exercise in 2018, particularly regarding information management and access to information. Interview with Marina Luna, civil servant at SMDH (29 November 2017). Through this incubator role, the network seems well positioned to serve as an internal mobilizing tool for promoting and sustaining the open government agenda within City Hall. For this reason, although the commitment's relevance to OGP values is unclear, the IRM researcher believes that it led to an improvement of access to information policies and change in government practices.

Looking forward, and considering the network's recent institutionalization and inclusion in the City Mayor's Goals for 2017-2020, the network should continue expanding its trainings outreach and aiming at another level of institutionalization. It can accomplish the expansion by first mobilizing its recently appointed open government and access to information focal points as multiplying agents within their own departments. Further institutionalization efforts can be done by engaging senior management and creating concrete incentives for civil servants to participate. Pilot projects developed in 2017 can be powerful entryways for sustaining and broadening civil servants' engagement internally in each department. Program and policy discontinuities and institutional instability in some relevant transparency and open government areas in the last year further substantiate the need for high authorities in São Paulo to show clearer commitment to those agendas. (See Institutional and Subnational Context and Scope of Action Plan section.) Their involvement can incentivize localized sectoral projects that improve departments' efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Their commitment can also increase the mayoral cabinet's own activities related to improving transparency and open government in the city.


To move this commitment's intended reforms forward, the following recommendations should be considered by the São Paulo government:

1. Continue to expand the Open INFO Network outreach to technical-level civil servants and local authorities in all direct and indirect governmental bodies. This can be done through new cycles of hands-on trainings and continued tailored support for sectoral departments and Regional Prefectures to build their own pilot open government projects.

2. Through the Inter-Secretarial Committee of Open Government, establish trust-based spaces for high-level local authorities to exchange on and commit to the transparency and open government agendas. These authorities include those in the mayor's cabinet, secretariats, and Regional Prefectures. Programs like the Mayor's Challenges can further provide a complementary set of incentives for local authorities to commit to the agenda and mobilize their teams to develop pilot open government initiatives.

3. Reinforce capacity development initiatives in all open government themes. Link access to information initiatives to other mechanisms for enhancing citizen participation and fostering public accountability, including through technological innovation. Use São Paulo's own long-standing experience and network of participatory experiments with a range of social policies. This history can provide civil servants with inspirational and concrete examples of how an open government works in practice.

4. Foster synergies among governmental branches, departments, and initiatives. Look for opportunities to connect Open INFO Network activities to the emerging innovation labs and hubs network (see Commitment 5: Innovation). Also seek to develop pilot joint activities with the municipal and state legislative powers, for mutual learning on pioneer open government initiatives, such as on citizen-focused approaches to open-data.


  1. Budget

    SAO0006, 2018, E-Government

  2. Decentralization and Local Development

    SAO0007, 2018, Environment and Climate

  3. Information System, Participatory Communication and Transparency

    SAO0008, 2018, Access to Information

  4. Education

    SAO0009, 2018, E-Government

  5. Fight Against Corruption

    SAO0010, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Increase the Power of Intervention of the Municipal Participative Councils in Each Subprefecture (City District), Creating Deliberative Open Sessions to Receive Proposals and Demands from the Citizens.

    SAO0001, 2017, E-Government

  7. Expand the Training Program “Open Government Agents”, Becoming a Permanent Education and Citizenship Program, Ensuring Territorial Mobilization and Ramification in Order to Reach the Largest Number People in São Paulo.

    SAO0002, 2017, Capacity Building

  8. Increase the Use of Means of Communication by São Paulo City Hall to Spread Open Government Actions in Newspapers, TV Channel, Buses, Public Municipal Venues, Alternative Media, Dialoguing with the Legislative Branch, in Order for These Means to Become Strategic and Permanent Ways of Communication.

    SAO0003, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Create a Network of Civil Servants Involving All City Hall Secretariats, Entities and Public Venues, Dialoguing with Ciga (The Intersecretarial Committee on Open Government) and São Paulo Aberta (Open São Paulo Initiative).

    SAO0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  10. Improve the Innovation Technology Laboratory (Labprodam), Turning the Lab More Open, Mapping Groups Already Working on Free Technology, Such as Youth Groups, Startups and Collectives to Create Projects Similar to São Paulo’S Urban Mobility Laboratory (Mobilab).

    SAO0005, 2017, Access to Information

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