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Slovak Republic

Analysis of Open Data (SK0067)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Slovak Republic National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Plenipotentiary of the Government for the Development of Civil Society

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Slovakia Implementation Report 2017-2019, Slovak Republic Design Report 2017–2019

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

In order to evaluate the usage of demand for datasets, it is desirable to prepare and publish an analysis of published datasets, which will also include clear statistics of usage of individual datasets, as well as individ-ual requests for publications of datasets.
Commitment No. 10: Conduct an analysis of publication of datasets of central government bodies at the Open Data Portal and submit it to the meeting of the Government Council for NGOs.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

THEME - Next steps for open data
Comm 10, 11

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2017 – 2019”, http://bit.ly/2QYIlHV ]:

Commitment 10: “Conduct an analysis of publication of datasets of central government bodies at the Open Data Portal and submit it to the meeting of the Government Council for NGOs”.

Commitment 11: “Develop a strategy and action plan of publication and use of open data of public administration and submit it to the Government”.

Start Date: Not specified            

End Date: 31 May 2017 and ongoing

 

Context and Objectives

The previous IRM report, as well as stakeholders’ views solicited for this report, concluded that the publication of open government data at Data.gov.sk is problematic at the moment[Note : Mária Žuffová, “Slovakia Special Accountability Report 2014 - 2015”, http://bit.ly/2EzH4Ws, Interview with Martin Turček (Aktuality.sk), 15 October 2018. Interview with Veronika Prachárová (Slovak Governance Institute), 16 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ]. The persisting problems are, among others, a lack of key datasets on the national portal Data.gov.sk, low quality of the data, licensing inconsistency, and limited engagement. Therefore, the commitment 10 to analyze open data publication at Data.gov.sk is a useful commitment that might inform individual agencies about their progress compared to others and encourage them to address existing problems.   

Commitment 11 to develop a Strategy and action plan for open government data publication and use is a commitment that has been taken forward from the previous action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2015”, http://bit.ly/2RevqCc ]. CSO representatives acknowledged the importance and potential impact of the strategy. The Strategy was developed first in 2015 by the National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES), consulted with relevant stakeholders and then submitted for the official public comment period on 31 May 2016[Note : Official Public Comment Period, SLOV-LEX (Legal and information portal), The Ministry of Justice,  https://bit.ly/2asdOyB (in Slovak).    ]. However, this version has not been taken forward. NASES re-submitted a new version of the strategy for abridged[Note : The standard length of official public comment period is 15 days. The abridged length of official public comment period is 7 days.  ] public comment period[Note : Official Public Comment Period, SLOV-LEX (Legal and information portal), The Ministry of Justice,  http://bit.ly/2zou3dp (in Slovak). ] a year later on 12 May 2017. Many relevant stakeholders expressed concerns about the abridged length of the public comment period[Note : Interview with Ján Gondoľ (worked for Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for Investments and Informatization of the Slovak Republic as a consultant during the action plan implementation on OGP commitments), 5 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ]. NASES argued there was no need for a regular public comment period as the strategy was previously consulted.

Slovensko.Digital, a key CSO in the field, submitted several substantial comments during the public comment period[Note : Official Public Comment Period, SLOV-LEX (Legal and information portal), The Ministry of Justice, http://bit.ly/2zou3dp (in Slovak).  ]. They argued that differences between two versions are fundamental, and the public did not get a chance to familiarize itself with the draft strategy not only due to the abridged length of public comment period but also due to the unwillingness of NASES to share any details of prepared changes to the document[Note : Ibid. ]. Although NASES was a member of a working group “Better data”, it did not consult other members about the strategy. Another interviewee who at that time worked for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Informatization echoed these concerns and reservations[Note : Slovensko.Digital Platform, “OpenData strategy – Consultations (again)”, http://bit.ly/2Sgya2f (in Slovak). Interview with Ján Gondoľ (worked for Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for Investments and Informatization of the Slovak Republic as a consultant during the action plan implementation on OGP commitments), 5 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ]. Another substantial comment pointed out to the potential conflicts with the section on open data in another strategic document[Note : The Government of the Slovak Republic, “Government resolution no. 437/2016 on the National Concept of the Informatization of Public Administration” (28 September 2016), http://bit.ly/2DSFDBr (in Slovak). ] and criticized proposal for redistribution of financial resources for achieving goals set in the strategy as arbitrarily set and unsubstantiated[Note : Official Public Comment Period, SLOV-LEX (Legal and information portal), The Ministry of Justice, http://bit.ly/2zou3dp (in Slovak).]. Despite a number of comments received during the public comment period, the government approved the Strategy and action plan for open government data publication and use on 24 July 2017[Note : The Government of the Slovak Republic, “Government resolution no. 346/2017 on the Strategy and action plan for open government data publication and use” (27 July 2017), http://bit.ly/2AieGTi (in Slovak).  ].     

Next steps

As mentioned, commitment 10 to analyze the publication of open government data at Data.gov.sk might provide a useful comparative overview of the performance of public agencies. Nonetheless, for the analysis to have an impact, the consequences for agencies that are lagging must be attached to the findings and operational recommendations should ensue concerning enhancements of the interoperability of datasets. Otherwise, the analysis will serve informational purposes only, but will not have any substantial impact and will not yield better results in open government data publication.   

While not much can be done about the Strategy and action plan for open government data publication and use, which has already been approved, future strategic documents and legislation should be developed in a participatory manner with all relevant stakeholders at the table. If the strategy is going to be updated or amended in the future, it could also specify concrete steps how a lack of awareness will be addressed, or how local government will be bounded to open its datasets.   

IRM End of Term Status Summary

For details on each commitment, see Slovakia Implementation Report 2017-2019.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership