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Paving the Way for Strong Implementation: Introducing the IRM’s First Action Plan Reviews

Hacia una mejor implementación: Presentando las primeras revisiones de los planes de acción del IRM

Independent Reporting Mechanism – Overview Since 2011, the IRM has provided independent, evidence-based, and objective reporting to hold OGP members accountable and support their open government efforts.

Accountability ensures that the promises outlined in commitments in OGP action plans are implemented, evaluated and reformers are encouraged to continue improving upon commitments. That’s why OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)’s role in assessing the design and implementation of OGP commitments, offering targeted recommendations and sharing knowledge is essential to ensure reforms reach maximum impact. In recent years, we’ve been working to answer the community’s call for a bolder and more engaging IRM through the IRM Refresh

Now, we’re excited to share the first of a series of new products – the Action Plan Review.  The Action Plan Review is an independent, quick, and technical review of the characteristics of national action plans. The Reviews highlight and provide deeper analysis of the most promising commitments, including recommendations to inform a stronger implementation process.

Action Plan Reviews are now available for public comment for action plans for Albania, Colombia, Côte D’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Estonia, South Africa and Spain. (Liberia’s final Action Plan Review is available here.) 

Here is a selection of the promising commitments from these action plans: 

Albania’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitment 2. Beneficial ownership register — This commitment aims to centralize beneficial ownership information in Albania in one open and public register. Public authorities may find it easier to access such information and tackle issues like money laundering. It may lead to Albania being taken off the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list” of countries with strategic deficiencies in this area.
  • There are also other promising commitments on implementing integrity plans and expanding access to legal aid

See Albania’s Action Plan Review here.

Colombia’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitment 5. Public oversight of COVID-19 investment projects: This commitment promises substantial results in promoting citizen participation in the oversight of COVID-19 pandemic risk mitigation projects.
  • There were also other promising commitments on publishing open data against corruption, making public finances more transparent, and various commitments at regional or local levels.  

See Colombia’s action plan review here.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitments 1 and 2. Open budget: The creation of a participatory budgeting decree and guide promise to standardize civic participation in budget formation across Ivorian communes. Likewise, the inclusion of civil society in validation sessions for budget guidelines begins to increase civic participation in fiscal processes at the national level.
  • Commitment 4 and 5. Asset transparency: The government aims to issue a legal mandate for public officials and civil servants’ annual asset declaration and create an online platform featuring disaggregated statistics. These measures would improve asset declaration transparency for the general public and their management by the relevant authorities, with an overall aim to combat corruption.

See Cote d’Ivoire’s Action Plan Review here.

Czech Republic’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitment 1. Publication of lower court decisions: This commitment seeks to secure greater accessibility and transparency of district court decisions. Public access to decisions could make it easier to compare decisions and ensure the law is applied consistently across the 86 district courts and could help to improve public trust in the independence of these institutions.
  • Commitment 2. Raising awareness on whistleblowing: The proposed measures are designed to support implementation of the imminent whistleblower protection law. Activities to raise awareness aim to increase stakeholder and public understanding of whistleblowing and the new law and improve perceptions of whistleblowers. The proposed training of judges and prosecutors is intended to provide whistleblowers with more protection in the courts. 

See Czech Republic’s Action Plan Review here.

Estonia’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitment 1. Increase co-creative policy-making capacity within government authorities: Building from previous action plans, the Government Office aims to develop an online tool for policy co-creation and publish and test a toolbox of co-creation methods. This commitment could be a significant step towards a government-wide transition to a more collaborative policy-making model built around the concept of co-creation.
  • Commitment 2. Support the implementation of whistleblower protection regulations: The Ministry of Justice aims to develop a common digital tool that whistleblowers can use to report breaches of law, fraud, corruption and other types of wrongdoing securely and confidentially. This commitment could be a significant step towards institutionalizing whistleblower protection in Estonia, in line with the EU directive.

See Estonia’s Action Plan Review here.

Liberia’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitment 4. Supporting institutions of integrity: The passage of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Bill and creation of a special anti-corruption court and National Integrity Committee would significantly strengthen Liberia’s anti-corruption framework.
  • There are also other promising commitments on implementing beneficial ownership transparency, open and inclusive contracting standards, and improving open healthcare delivery

See Liberia’s final Action Plan Review here

Spain’s Promising Commitments

  • Commitment 1. Reform of the regulatory framework for transparency and accountability: The proposed reforms seek to generate improvements in the right to access to information, both in law enforcement and in areas of opportunity for existing legislation.
  • There are also other promising commitments on improving and strengthening transparency and accountability systems, improving citizen participation and providing tools to enhance public integrity systems.

See Spain’s Action Plan Review here.

South Africa’s Promising Commitments

South Africa’s fourth action plan aims to reinvigorate the OGP process in the country after several years of inactivity. The plan’s three proposed themes in the areas of open budget, fiscal transparency, and beneficial ownership transparency are relevant and a good foundation on which to build. However, at present the commitments lack clarity and ambition. To strengthen its in-country impact and global leadership, South Africa can take advantage of an opportunity to submit a revised action plan, with clear implementation roadmaps and stronger government engagement.

See South Africa’s Action Plan Review here

Now, we want to hear from you. Share your feedback on the Action Plan Reviews here, and stay tuned for the rollout of more refreshed IRM products.

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