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Tunisia

Developing an Integrated Electronic Civil Petition and Corruption Reporting Platform (TN0030)

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 public servant, governance and fighting corruption (the e-Government Unit and the central bureau of relationship with citizens).

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Capacity Building, E-Government, E-petitions

IRM Review

IRM Report: Tunisia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Public Accountability , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Developing an integrated electronic civil petition and corruption reporting platform

IRM Midterm Status Summary

10. Develop an integrated electronic civil petition and corruption reporting platform (e-people)

Commitment Text:

Contributing in the efforts oriented to fight corruption and promote citizen participation.

The system will be a one stop shop to receive citizens’ complaints and report corruption cases. These complaints will be dispatched to different public structures at the central, regional and local levels. The system ensures the follow up of these petitions throughout the treatment process.

In addition, This Platform will allow the publication of accurate and categorized statistics about complaints and corruption cases notifications treated by different public structure.

Milestones:

  • Develop the platform and use it as a pilot phase in 10 facilities including the National Anti-Corruption Authority and the Central Bureau in charge of the relation with the citizens

Responsible institution: Presidency of the Government

Supporting institution(s):

As mentioned in the action plan: The National Anti-Corruption Authority, Al Bawsala, I Watch

As assessed: Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Korea, The Republic of Korea

Start date: June 2016           End date: March 2018

Context and Objectives

This commitment was carried forward from the first Tunisian action plan. In December 2012, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights of Korea agreed on an MOU with the Tunisian government, via its Prime Minister’s office, to exchange experts in governance and help Tunisia in combatting corruption. One of the selected projects was “e-people,” a platform where citizens could interact with the administration, lodge complaints about its service delivery and suggest improvements. [38] E-people already exists in Korea https://www.epeople.go.kr/ and the idea behind this cooperation was to apply the same model in Tunisia.

To report a corruption case to the ACA, one must use classical methods, such as phoning a toll-free hotline or making a complaint in person. The Tunisian NGO I-Watch developed an online platform named Bilkamcha that allows anyone to report a corruption case. I-Watch would then follow-up, investigate and transfer the case to the court.

The commitment’s title could be misleading. Unlike the Korean version, E-people Tunisia does not include a petition component. In fact, the Tunisian legal system does not have a mechanism for civil petitions. Moreover, I-Watch and Al Bawsala, the two main anti-corruption CSOs in Tunisia, who are listed as partners in this action plan’s commitment, have not participated in the implementation of this commitment.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information, civic participation and public accountability. It offers an opportunity for citizens to report cases of misconduct and corruption in public administration and access statistics of how cases have been resolved. The commitment also mentions the responsibility of the government to follow up on received requests, which makes this commitment relevant to public accountability.

If fully implemented, this commitment would have moderate potential impact. In the context of high levels of public sector corruption, providing an electronic platform for citizens to report corruption cases could be an important tool, if government were to act upon submitted complaints. However, the institutional set-up for ownership of the platform causes concern among major anti-corruption CSOs due to the fact that the implementation of this commitment is the responsibility of the Presidency of the Government. This, in their opinion, constitutes a conflict of interest since the platform is hosted and managed by the Unit of Relationship with the Citizen, which is within the Presidency of the Government and reviews reports on misconduct or corruption in the government, rather than an independent, anti-corruption agency, which would be better placed to deal with such complaints. In addition, CSOs have concerns related to confidentiality and security of the platform. Due to CSOs’ complaints, the ACA withdrew from this commitment and joined the voices of civil society that ask for an audit and a form of engagement from the government that will ensure the confidentiality for citizens’ reporting.

Completion

This commitment has been completed to a limited extent. After the first year of action plan implementation the platform was at an advanced stage of preparation. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) allocated USD 5 million to complete this commitment with the Presidency of the Government of Tunisia. At the time of writing, the website was online but not all sections of the website were functional.

Nevertheless, the governance of the platform is still an issue. Both CSOs and ACA believe that the platform should not be hosted and managed by the Presidency. From the government’s perspective, this commitment is an opportunity that would provide a tool for interaction with citizens and so would initiate programs of self-improvement.  The CSOs do not trust that the government will be able to effectively sanction abuses while ensuring the privacy of complainants. [39]

The milestones specify that the platform would have a pilot phase and would be implemented in 10 facilities. At the time of the evaluation, this was not the case.

Next Steps

For the commitment to be carried forward to the next action plan, it should be reformulated, taking into consideration the concerns of CSOs and the ACA. The IRM researcher recommends the following:

  • The government should consult with ACA and the CSOs to reach a common ground on the platform governance. The host server of this solution should be a neutral and independent authority that could ensure confidentiality and security.
  • Define a dual back-end to the platform, for ACA to receive and manage complaints submitted on corruption cases.
[39] Interview with the CSOs of the OGP Tunisia multistakeholder committee, May, 2018

Commitments

  1. Right to Information

    TN0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Open Data Framework

    TN0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Access to Geographic Information

    TN0038, 2018, E-Government

  4. Open Transport Data

    TN0039, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improve Water Resource Governance

    TN0040, 2018, E-Government

  6. Join EITI

    TN0041, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Open Contracting in Hydrocarbons

    TN0042, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  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, Capacity Building

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

    TN0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Improve the Transparency and Local Gov Openness

    TN0024, 2016, Capacity Building

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

    TN0025, 2016, Capacity Building

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

    TN0026, 2016, Aid

  20. Enhancing Transparency in the Transport Sector

    TN0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  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, Human Rights

  33. Developing an Open Data Portal

    TN0005, 2014, Infrastructure & Transport

  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, Anti-Corruption

  47. Improve Transparency in the Area of Infrastructure Projects

    TN0019, 2014, Infrastructure & Transport

  48. Devoting Transparency in the Environment Field

    TN0020, 2014, E-Government

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