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Estonia has best involved non-governmental organisations in the Open Government Partnership

15. October 2015 - 9:01
Photo: Tauno Tõhk
Photo: Tauno Tõhk

The Government received an overview on the implementation of the Action Plan for Participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) today. The international secretariat of the OGP has estimated that Estonia has managed to involve non-governmental organisations in the preparation, implementation, and performance of the OGP Action Plan in the best manner.

The interim report provides an overview of the status of the activities that Estonia has promised to implement in its Action Plan for 2014–2016. The Action Plan includes six commitments consisting a total of 23 activities, most of which are planned to be implemented during the second implementation year of the Action Plan. A total of five activities out of six that were planned for this period have been carried out during the first implementation year.

The first implementation year of the Action Plan has resulted in elaborated and interactively visualised policy-shaping and legislative drafting processes together with the explanation of the options for the non-governmental parties to participate in these, and in order to improve the predictability of tax policy, the Taxation Law Amendment Act has been approved, according to which at least six months should generally remain between the adoption and enforcement of the Taxation Law and the amendment thereto.

In order to increase the transparency of the national budget and financial management, the Ministry of Finance has compiled the guidelines and examples for local governments on how to prepare a short overview of the local budget understandable to the citizens in a similar form as the state budget strategy and the national budget. Furthermore, a portal has been established, which brings together the open data of the public sector, and calls for proposals have been carried out in order to finance the opening of data.

In order to coordinate the OGP activities, the Secretary of State set up the OGP coordinating body last September. This is equally composed of the representatives of the Government and non-governmental partners. The whole task is to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the Action Plan for 2014–2016, provide recommendations to the participants, and make decisions related to the partnership.

According to the assessment published by the international secretariat of the OGP at the beginning of September, out of 65 countries, Estonia has best managed to involve non-governmental organisations in the preparation, implementation, and performance of the OGP Action Plan.

The Government of the Republic approved Estonia’s Action Plan for Participation in the Open Government Partnership for 2014–2016 on 12 June last year. The Action Plan focuses on the openness of the policy-making process, budget transparency, and the development of public services, and it was prepared in cooperation between the Government and non-governmental organisations.

The Government Office prepared the interim report in cooperation with the ministries coordinating the activities and the representatives of non-governmental partners. The interim report will now be submitted to the OGP Steering Committee.

Estonia joined the Open Government Partnership in 2012 and it currently connects 65 countries. The OGP is an international initiative in order to promote good governance in the world by using the opportunities arising from the development of technology. The open governance means exercising power honestly, transparently, and in dialogue with the citizens. The countries that have joined the OGP commit themselves to follow the principles of an open government and develop a specific action plan in cooperation with civil society.

The interim report and more information about the Open Government Partnership can be found here: www.valitsus.ee/avp
The OGP evaluation on the involvement of the non-governmental organisations: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/case-study/informing-empowering-improving-government-civil-society-interactions-within-ogp

More information: Liis Kasemets, Adviser of the Strategy Unit of the Government Office, +372 693 5627, liis.kasemets[at]riigikantselei[dot]ee