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Tunisia

Improve the Transparency and Local Gov Openness (TN0024)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Tunisia Second National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry in charge of local affairs

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Capacity Building, Open Data, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Tunisia End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Tunisia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Improve the transparency and local Gov Openness

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Improve transparency and local government openness

Commitment Text:

Developing practical mechanisms to facilitate the access to information and enshrine the principles of accountability and participation in the design and implementation of programs and projects at the local level.

Milestones:

  • Drafting a practical guide to explains the principles of open government and various applications at the local level in order to encourage projects and initiatives which could be launched in this field.
  • The development of an electronic platform for open data at the local level

Responsible institution: Services of governance, Presidency of the government, Ministry of local affairs and environment.

Supporting institution(s):

As mentioned in the NAP: Tunisian Association for Local Governance

As evaluated: Tunisian Association for Local Governance, Article 19, ATCP, FSVC

Start date: June 2016        End date: July 2018

Context and Objectives

Decentralization is part of the main political agenda of post-revolution Tunisia. The Tunisian constitution introduced the principles of decentralization through 12 articles. [20] Historically, local affairs were always part of the powerful Ministry of Interior. However, since 2016, the Tunisian government, under Prime Minister Habib Essid separated local affairs to a dedicated ministry. The first Minister of Local Affairs was Youssef Chahed, the Prime Minister at the time of writing this report.

In 2014, Tunisia drafted the “Urban Development and Local Governance Program” planning to finance it through a loan from the World Bank. [21] On October 2015, the program was officially launched [22] with a budget of 1,220 million TND (USD 530 million), with a USD 263 million loan from the World Bank. [23] This program aims to support local authorities and build their capacities by developing mechanisms for financial management, and reinforce the relationship with citizens to foster inclusiveness.

The reform of local affairs went through multiple complicated steps. The government merged and created new municipalities through decrees and planned to have local elections since 2014. These were postponed four times and were re-planned for May 2018. [24] Yet, the “code of municipalities”, to regulate municipalities, is not ready yet and the Tunisian parliament is being particularly slow in passing this major reform. Critics were severe about holding local elections without the code.

A website for local municipalities was developed as part of the “Urban Development and Local Governance Program” in 2015. This website includes open data, however, without any codebook accompanying the csv and excel files. The mid-term government self-assessment report does not mention if this portal was part of the commitment.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information. Its specificity is medium, and it has a minor potential impact. Having a platform and a guide without having trained personnel at the local level means that this commitment is not likely to lead to major impact.

Completion

This commitment is not started. Neither a draft for a practical guide nor a platform for open data have been developed.

The government has prioritized organizing municipal elections and completing the fundamental laws related to local municipalities. Moreover, after the government change in 2016, Prime Minister Chahed, who was the Minister of Local Affairs, merged his former ministry with the Ministry of the Environment. This resulted in changes of multiple heads of departments.

The self-assessment report mentions that the Ministry of Environment and Local Affairs will put this commitment under the Tunisian-French cooperation to provide enough funding to execute the project.

Next Steps

Commitments related to Open Local Governance are important to the Tunisian democratic transition and the decentralization process. Therefore, if not completed under this action plan, this commitment should be expanded, clarified and carried forward. The IRM researcher recommends the following:

  • Ensure this commitment is part of the Urban Development and Local Governance Program.
  • Familiarize the upcoming municipal councils (the ones that will be elected in 2018) with open government principles.
  • Involve the to-be-elected local officials following the local elections in May 2018 and develop a pilot project with limited municipalities across the country. This could be done with the municipalities of Tunis, Sousse, Marsa and Bizerta from the coastal regions, as well as the municipalities of interior regions such as Tozeur, Sidi Bouzid, Seliana and Kasserine.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4. Improve the transparency and local Gov Openness

Commitment Text:

In accordance to the new constitution that calls for supporting decentralization and devoting transparency and local governance, this commitment will allow developing practical mechanisms to enshrine the principles of accountability and participation in the design and implementation of programs and projects at this level.

Milestones:

  • Drafting a practical guide to explains the principles of open government and various applications at the local level in order to encourage projects and initiatives which could be launched in this field.
  • The development of an electronic platform for Open data at the local level
    • Choose at least a Municipality to establish open data system at the local level according to a certain number of criteria.
    • The development of an open data system,
    • Communication about the system and assisting citizens, especially the inhabitants in the concerned municipality to access it.

Responsible institution: Services of governance, Presidency of the government, Ministry of local affairs and environment.

Start date: June 2016 End date: July 2018

Editorial Note: This is an abbreviated version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text from the Tunisia National Action Plan, see here.

Commitment Aim:

This commitment intended to arrange for providing practices and tools for open government principles at the local level. The commitment entails two activities: the creation of a website for the Open data platform at the local level and the drafting of a practical guide about the best practices of good governance and open government.

Status

Midterm: Not Started

The continuous delay of the local elections significantly impacted the implementation of this commitment. The restructure of the government and creation of the new Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment that was supposed to take charge of the implementation of this commitment also contributed to this delay. As of the midterm, the implementation of the milestones did not start.

End of term: Limited

According to the OGP focal points in the Tunisian Government, a guide had been drafted by the Ministry of Local Affairs, but it was still waiting for approval at the end of the action plan implementation period. The IRM researcher could not access the draft to verify its content. Regarding the development of an electronic platform for Open data, the IRM researcher found that a portal [33] had existed since 2015. During this implementation cycle, only a tab was added to the portal, which was a minor modification. The data available on the portal is neither accompanied with a codebook nor a reference to the dates of creation, publication or modification date. The data does not include detailed information about budget, but rather includes a sum of all the expenditure on one entry and the rows of entries do not include the related dates. The completion of this commitment is therefore limited.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

The commitment aimed to encourage practices of good governance and open government at the local level and the creation of an Open data portal. This commitment is part of the broader decentralization strategy that the central government is undertaking to delegate further power to local governments while improving their governing capacities. However, with the limited steps taken for the implementation of this commitment there was no change to government practice.

Carried Forward?

The commitment was not carried forward to the next action plan.


Commitments

  1. Right to Information

    TN0036, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Open Data Framework

    TN0037, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Access to Geographic Information

    TN0038, 2018, Access to Information

  4. Open Transport Data

    TN0039, 2018, Access to Information

  5. Improve Water Resource Governance

    TN0040, 2018, E-Government

  6. Join EITI

    TN0041, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Open Contracting in Hydrocarbons

    TN0042, 2018, Access to Information

  8. Anti-Corruption Framework

    TN0043, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  9. Participatory Budgeting

    TN0044, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  10. Youth Participation

    TN0045, 2018, Marginalized Communities

  11. Implement Initiatives to Apply the OGP at the Local Level

    TN0046, 2018, E-Government

  12. Online Administrative Services

    TN0047, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Access to Civil Service

    TN0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. Joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative "EITI"

    TN0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  15. Modernizing the Regulatory Framework to Enforce The Right To Access to Information

    TN0022, 2016, Access to Information

  16. The Completion of the Legal and Regulatory Framework of Open Data at the National Level

    TN0023, 2016, Access to Information

  17. Improve the Transparency and Local Gov Openness

    TN0024, 2016, Access to Information

  18. Enhance the Transparency in the Cultural Sector : “Open Culture”

    TN0025, 2016, Access to Information

  19. Enhance the Transparency in the Environment and Sustainable Development Sector

    TN0026, 2016, Access to Information

  20. Enhancing Transparency in the Transport Sector

    TN0027, 2016, Access to Information

  21. Promoting Financial and Fiscal Transparency

    TN0028, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  22. Elaborating a Legal Framework for Citizen’S Petitions

    TN0029, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Developing an Integrated Electronic Civil Petition and Corruption Reporting Platform

    TN0030, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  24. Developing New Mechanisms to Promote Interaction with the Youth and Enable Them to Pursue Dialogue About Public Policies

    TN0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Adopting the Corporate Governance Referential on the Sectoral Level

    TN0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Developing Mobile Applications Which Could Be Downloaded on the Mobile Phone to Reinforce Transparency of Government Activities and Participatory Approach

    TN0033, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Enhancing Access to the Archive

    TN0034, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. The Development of an Electronic Mechanism to Ensure Transparency of Public Servants Recruitment

    TN0035, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Strengthening Legal Framework for Corruption Fight

    TN0001, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  30. Developing an Integrated Electronic Civil Petition and Corruption Reporting Platform

    TN0002, 2014, E-Government

  31. Publishing an Annual Report on Audit Activities in Public Sector

    TN0003, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  32. Review of the Legal Framework of Personal Data Protection and Ensuring Conformity with Article 24 of Tunisian Constitution

    TN0004, 2014, Access to Information

  33. Developing an Open Data Portal

    TN0005, 2014, Access to Information

  34. Preparing a National Corporate Governance Repository

    TN0006, 2014, E-Government

  35. Establishing a Legal Framework That Regulates Communication and Interaction Within Public Sector and Between Public Structures and Citizens with Usage of ICT

    TN0007, 2014, E-Government

  36. Simplifying Administrative Procedures

    TN0008, 2014, E-Government

  37. Develop a Number of Administrative Services On-Line

    TN0009, 2014, E-Government

  38. Enhancing People Participation in the Decision-Making Process

    TN0010, 2014, E-Government

  39. Capacity-Building of Civil Servants and Citizens in the Area of Open Governance

    TN0011, 2014, Capacity Building

  40. Creation of a Structure Specialized in Training in the Governance Area

    TN0012, 2014, Capacity Building

  41. Publication of Budget Reports

    TN0013, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  42. Development of the Open Budget System

    TN0014, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  43. Use of the Data Extracted from the Application Dedicated to Budget Management (Adeb) in Public Sector

    TN0015, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  44. Publication of Reports Related to Attribution and Execution of Public Procurement and Audit Results

    TN0016, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  45. Publication of Recommandations Included in Audit Reports of Public Procurement

    TN0017, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  46. Development of an "Open Data" Platform Dedicated to Information Dealing with Oil and Mine Sector Investment

    TN0018, 2014, Access to Information

  47. Improve Transparency in the Area of Infrastructure Projects

    TN0019, 2014, Access to Information

  48. Devoting Transparency in the Environment Field

    TN0020, 2014, Access to Information

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