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Serbia

open data reports on CSOs (RS0032)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office for Cooperation with the Civil Society

Support Institution(s): Administration Business Registers Agency Office for Information Technologies and eGovernment 26 Civil sector organisations, private sector, working groups UNDP, CSOs

Policy Areas

E-Government, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Serbia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

COMMITMENT 5: Preparation of reports/indicators on CSOs (associations, foundations and
endowments) in an open format
Q4 2018 - Q2 2019
(October 2018 – April 2019)
Lead implementing agency Office for Cooperation with the Civil Society
Description of Commitment
23
Problem addressed by the
commitment
In its everyday work, the Office for Cooperation with the Civil
Society (“the Office”) receives numerous inquiries about the civil
sector by various actors, from citizens, through the media and
public administration bodies to civil society organisations
themselves and other interested parties. Inquiries mainly relate to
the number of CSOs, data on organisations at specific levels of
territorial organisation (usually at the levels of districts and local
self-government), in certain spheres of activity, inquiries about
the year of their formation and other aspects. These data are
necessary for various reasons - from sector surveys through
sending invitations to civil society organisations to attend various
events and participate in various Government’s working bodies
to the need for networking within the civil sector.
The Business Registers Agency (BRA) is responsible for
registration of associations, endowments and foundations and
only this Agency holds comprehensive data about them. The
Office and BRA signed in 2018 the Agreement on Downloading
Data through Web Service, “Web Service for Keeping up with
Changes and Downloading Data from BRA Registers” (PLWS),
which ensured automated updating and downloading of data from
BRA status registers (associations, endowments and foundations)
in the performance of regular activities of the Office.
Data obtained through this web service allow the Office to
prepare reports/indicators on all civil society organisations
(associations, endowments and foundations) – Overview of
CSOs, which would be based on searches by much more features.
Main objective The commitment includes preparation of reports/indicators on
CSOs (associations, foundations and endowments) in the
Republic of Serbia and an appropriate web application through
which:
- Employees in the Office could search CSOs according to
certain criteria in order to prepare various analyses and
reports and to keep up with trends in the civil society;
- Interested parties, primarily representatives of the civil
society themselves, state authorities and local selfgovernment units, could request reports/indicators on CSOs
according to various criteria and download results of such
searches in a machine-readable format (open data).
The Office for IT and e-Government would keep data on CSOs
and supporting applications using all necessary security
measures.
Reports/indicators on CSOs would be available on the Open
Government Portal at data.gov.rs and could be downloaded as
open data files.
Open data or a machine-readable format would enable further
processing of data for analytical purposes.
The general objective of preparation of reports/indicators on
CSOs is improved transparency and availability of information
on the civil sector, as well as meeting the need to search data on
CSOs according to various criteria.
24
Overview of data on CSOs will over time be expanded by other
information of relevance for keeping up with the situation in the
civil sector, such as financing of CSOs from budget funds, as
well as other relevant data which will be defined on the basis of
consultations with users and will be available to users through
the broader set services provided by the Office.
Implementation of this commitment is expected to make data on
registered CSOs transparent and easily accessible for the
interested public.
How will this commitment
contribute to problem solving?
Overview of data on CSOs and supporting web application for
the Office will be used as a tool for all interested actors that
cooperate or plan to cooperate with CSOs.
Their preparation will make available data on registered CSOs to
public administration bodies through the Office, by a very simple
search, if they want to include CSOs in working bodies, invite
CSOs to public debates in a specific field covered by a regulation
or to cooperate with them in other ways, while the option of
viewing a list of all associations active in their territories will be
particularly valuable for local self-governments. Overview of
data on CSOs will be particularly useful given that the new
legislative provisions introduced by of the Law on the Planning
System and amendments to the Law on Public Administration
and the Law on Local Self-Government set forth a duty for
administration bodies at all levels to ensure much greater
involvement of the public, and thus also CSOs, than is currently
the case in the passing of regulations and public policy making.
In addition, this will ensure greater availability of various data to
the media, CSOs and other stakeholders through the Office, on
the basis of which various analyses, researches and updates on
the situation in the sector could be conducted, CSOs could be
invited to attend various events and cooperation with them could
be improved, while citizens could more easily find and contact
associations they want to join or ask for help.
The overview of data on CSOs available through the Office could
be used by donors to invite CSOs to info sessions on open public
calls and in general to expand the circle of CSOs to which they
can award funds for projects/programmes.
In addition, the Office would be able to perform its day-to-day
activities more efficiently in establishing cooperation and
dialogue between public administration and CSOs if it had
available daily updated, comprehensive and full data on CSOs.
The way in which this
commitment is relevant to further
advancing OGP values
The commitment is relevant for open data and transparency
because it involves publishing more data about CSOs and easier
access to various pieces of information on associations,
foundations and endowments in the Republic of Serbia.
Reports/indicators on CSOs published in a machine-readable
format can be processed further and used for analytical
purposes.
25
In addition, this commitment also involves the use of new
technologies and innovation, which further increases its
relevance for OGP values.
Additional information
Activity with a verifiable
deliverable and completion date
Start Date: End Date:
1. Provision of advisory support to
the Office for use of the web
service and formation of a CSO
database
Q4 2018 (October 2018) Q4 2018 (December 2018)
2. Stage one - preparation of
reports/indicators which can be
useful for CSOs and the public
Q4 2018 (December 2018) Q1 2019
(January 2019)
3. Development of a dedicated
subdomain on the official website
of the Office at
civilnodrustvo.gov.rs where
reports/indicators will be available
Q4 2018 (December 2018) Q1 2019
(January 2019)
4. Stage two - testing of the
Overview of Data on CSOs within
the Office, development and
defining of a set of data which will
be available on the Open Data
Portal and for the Open Data
Challenge
Q4 2018 (December 2018) Q1 2019
(February/March 2019)
5. Announcement and
implementation of the Open Data
Challenge (opening of the first
level of data on CSOs)
Q2 2019
(April 2019)
Q2 2019
(May 2019)
6. Opening of additional
reports/indicators on CSOs for the
public and promotion
Q2 2019
(April 2019)
Q3 2019
(August 2019)
Contact information
Name of a responsible person in the
implementing agency
Tijana Stojiljković Rolović
Title, Department Independent Advisor for Communication Planning
Tasks and Promotional Activities
Email and phone number rolovic.tijana@civilnodrustvo.gov.rs ; 011/311-38-
95
Other actors involved
Administration
Business Registers Agency
Office for Information Technologies and eGovernment
26
Civil sector
organisations,
private sector,
working groups
UNDP, CSOs

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Open Data on Reports on CSOs

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

Title: Preparation of reports/indicators on civil society organizations (associations, foundations and endowments) in an open format

The commitment includes preparation of reports/indicators on CSOs (associations, foundations and endowments) in the Republic of Serbia and an appropriate web application through which:

- Employees in the Office could search CSOs according to certain criteria in order to prepare various analyses and reports and to keep up with trends in the civil society;

- Interested parties, primarily representatives of the civil society themselves, state authorities and local self-government units, could request reports/indicators on CSOs according to various criteria and download results of such searches in a machine-readable format (open data).

The general objective of preparation of reports/indicators on CSOs is improved transparency and availability of information on the civil sector, as well as meeting the need to search data on CSOs according to various criteria.

Overview of data on CSOs will over time be expanded by other information of relevance for keeping up with the situation in the civil sector, such as financing of CSOs from budget funds, as well as other relevant data which will be defined on the basis of consultations with users and will be available to users through the broader set services provided by the Office.

Implementation of this commitment is expected to make data on registered CSOs transparent and easily accessible for the interested public.

For full commitment text, please refer to the National Action Plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Serbia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

Start Date: Q4 2018

End Date: Q2 2019

Context and Objectives

Serbia has a registry of all associations, foundations, and endowments. Currently, it is possible to search the registry only via the name of the organization and its identification number, which makes it difficult for users to find CSOs according to other parameters such as legal representatives, location, or area of activity. [64] With a total number of around 30,000 associations and 789 foundations and endowments, [65] searchability based only upon two parameters is insufficient.

The purpose of this commitment is to improve current registry of CSOs by adding additional data and by making the entire register searchable according to the different criteria.

Although the commitment itself is specific enough to be verifiable, interviewed stakeholders gave mixed opinions about it. First, the Serbian Business Registry Agency currently hosts the registry, but the commitment entails developing a different sub-domain on the official website of the OCCS. [66] Although the OCCS representative was unsure why, a representative of the agency considered it necessary for technical reasons [67] to increase search parameters and because the agency cannot collect data not prescribed by a rulebook. [68] Second, the exact kinds of data to be published are unclear. A representative of an international open data organization involved in the OGP Working Group thought that only data currently existing within the register of the agency will be published, [69] but the representative of the agency reported that additional data collected by the OCCS will be added to the sub-domain on the OCCS’ website. These additional data include funds granted via calls published by the state and provincial and local bodies. This commitment thus overlaps with commitment 2, as it tackles the data related to the public funds granted to the CSOs. Since 2011, the OCCS has collected data on public funds. [70]

Because this commitment would slightly improve access to and searchability of CSO data, [71] the IRM researchers assess its potential impact as minor, as it is yet unclear what kind of data the new feature would contain. CSO representatives involved in the OGP Working Group think that information such as legal representative, seat of the organization, and area of activities of CSOs would prove to be useful data. [72]

Next steps

The IRM researchers suggest that the OCCS clarify the commitment by defining more thoroughly which data will be published. The agency could make registers of all entities more searchable and supported with more responsive and upgraded software.

[64] Registry of the Serbian Business Registry Agency, Serbian Business Registry Agency, Belgrade, http://www.apr.gov.rs/eng/Home.aspx (accessed on 15 March 2019);
[65] 2017 Civil Society Organizations Sustainability Index, National Coalition for Decentralization, Niš, 2018, page 1, http://nkd.rs/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/IO-OCD-2017-Srbija.pdf (accessed on 15 March 2019);
[66] Representatives of the Serbian Business Registry Agency, interviewed by the IRM researcher, 18 February 2019;
[67] The Agency’s software cannot withstand the desired level of searchability, and the office already collects data that need to be expanded and updated. The representative reported that the agency will upgrade its software in two years, so the office will remain the “keeper” of this large database whereas the agency will be in charge of updating data. Representatives of the Serbian Business Registry Agency, Ibid;
[68] Regulation on the Content, the Procedure for Registration and Administration of the Register of Associations, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 80/2009, Belgrade, 2009, http://www.apr.gov.rs/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=udxw_ucYQc0%3d&tabid=64&portalid=0&mid=631 (accessed on 15 March 2019), Rulebook on the Content and Administration of the Register of Foundations and Endowments, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 16/2011, Belgrade, 2011, http://www.apr.gov.rs/Portals/0/zakoni%20uredbe%20pravilnici/Pravilnici/PRAVILNIK%20O%20BLI%C5%BDOJ%20SADR%C5%BDINI%20I%20NA%C4%8CINU%20VO%C4%90ENJA%20REGISTRA%20ZADU%C5%BDBINA%20I%20FONDACIJA22032016.pdf?ver=2016-03-22-114502-150 (accessed on 15 March 2019);
[69] Representative of an international organization involved in the Working Group and dealing with the open data, interviewed by the IRM researcher, 8 February 2019;
[70] Annual Summary Reports on Expenditure of Funds to Support Program Activities Provided and Payment Associations and Other Civil Society Organizations from the Budget of the Republic of Serbia, Office for Cooperation with the Civil Society, Government of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, https://bit.ly/2DoqlCy (accessed on 15 March 2019);
[71] It was explained to the IRM researcher that, within this commitment, the term “indicator” is used for a data concerning CSOs. Therefore, term “data” will be used in describing this commitment rather than the term “indicator”;
[72] Representatives of CSOs involved in the Working Group and dealing with the open data, interviewed by the IRM researchers, 11 February 2019.

Commitments

  1. Increasing transparency and participation in parliament

    RS0042, 2018, Civic Space

  2. Publishing Budget Law

    RS0028, 2018, E-Government

  3. e-calendar for financing civil society

    RS0029, 2018, E-Government

  4. publish data on environmental protection funds

    RS0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. opening data for public calls for media development

    RS0031, 2018, E-Government

  6. open data reports on CSOs

    RS0032, 2018, E-Government

  7. amending media registration bylaws

    RS0033, 2018, E-Government

  8. Assistance with and monitoring of adoption of LAP

    RS0034, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  9. Updating of electoral roll

    RS0035, 2018, E-Government

  10. ePAPER

    RS0036, 2018, E-Government

  11. e-notice board

    RS0037, 2018, E-Government

  12. Improving proactive transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0038, 2018, E-Government

  13. Access to Information Law

    RS0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. cooperation with CSOs on regulations

    RS0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. e-civic engagement

    RS0041, 2018, E-Government

  16. Develop a Model of Job Description or Part of Job Description of an Officer Responsible for Cooperation with Civil Society in Local Administration

    RS0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Organise Trainings for Public Administration Officers in Connection with the Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Organise Trainings for CSO in Connection with Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Improve the System for Collecting Initiatives from Citizens and Businesses

    RS0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Introducing Standards for Civic Participation in the Public Policy Management System

    RS0018, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Improving Proactive Transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0019, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0020, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  23. Development of an Open Data Portal

    RS0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Draft a Bylaw Based on the Guidelines for Evaluation of Websites

    RS0022, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Improve the Institute of Public Hearing in the Drafting of Laws

    RS0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Development of a Uniform Methodology for Planning, Monitoring and Performance Evaluation of Programmes and Projects Implemented by Civil Society Organisations and Monitoring the Spending of Allocated Funds

    RS0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Amend the Regulation on Funds to Support Programmes or Missing Amount of Funds for Programmes of Public Interest Implemented by Associations

    RS0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. Enactment of a Law on Electronic Documents, Electronic Identification and Trusted Services in Electronic Business

    RS0026, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Establish a Single Public Register of Administrative Procedures and Other Conditions for Pursuing a Business Activity

    RS0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Transparency in Monitoring Budget Expenditures

    RS0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  31. Law on Financing Political Activities

    RS0002, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  32. Transparent Public Procurement Procedures

    RS0003, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  33. Transparent Financing of Civil Society Organizations

    RS0004, 2014, Civic Space

  34. Extending and Clarifying Responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Agency

    RS0005, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Whistleblower Protection Trainings and Campaigns

    RS0006, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  36. Draft Law Regulating Inspections in Public Administration

    RS0007, 2014, Audits and Controls

  37. e-Governmental Portal Awareness and Mobile Application

    RS0008, 2014, E-Government

  38. Starred commitment Public Administration Website Harmonization and Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0009, 2014, E-Government

  39. New Technologies to Improve Citizen Services

    RS0010, 2014, E-Government

  40. Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations in Public Policymaking

    RS0011, 2014, Civic Space

  41. Citizen Participation in Local Government Affairs

    RS0012, 2014, Public Participation

  42. Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy

    RS0013, 2014, Audits and Controls