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Achieving Development through Public Administration Openness Reforms

Stavros Tasiopoulos |

Achieving Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals through Open Government Methods

Open Governance as a public policy is based on the integration of the principles of transparency, access to information and the effective participation of citizens in the State’s operating procedures. Designing and implementing relevant policies in the public sector and administration means new potential for the consolidation of constitutional principles and rights of the state of law. Open Government policies are a useful tool, method, and principle towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 16 (16.6 and 16.7) about strong institutions.

In Greece, the public administration’s commitment to these policies, as written in the 3rd OGP National Action Plan (NAP), has potential to radically change the public sector’s functioning. Following the economic crisis, there is a great opportunity to restore people’s confidence in the state by providing better services and reducing corruption through open government tools.

Visions of Greece’s National Plan on Open Government 2016-2018: The commitments laid out in the new NAP aim to to carry out necessary reforms in the public administration in order to make citizens’ daily lives easier and to develop public service capacities. In this, there are provisions for: civic participation in the evaluation process of public services; accountability mechanisms such as hearing committees for citizens and social actors, and institutional mediation for disputes between citizens and the state; digital organizational charts for every public service and entity in the public sector, making public administration more open and ensuring that every citizen will be able to have complete and thorough knowledge of the exact function of each service; and guides and standardization for the provision of services, driving down costs, increasing the speed and quality in service delivery, and helping citizens to know exactly which entity to contact and better understand the process for service delivery.

Target set! The goal of these pledges is to create the necessary solutions to problems with the function of public administration, in order to reduce operating costs, upgrade the level of services offered and improve citizens’ trust in the state and its institutions. These reforms are set to provide solutions without cost to citizens, and improve daily life in order to help speed up economic development by reducing beauracratic procedures.

After 8 years in economic rescue programs, Greece has to create and implement its own public sector reforms, taking into consideration international good practices. Open government methods can guarantee a productive and accountable public administration.