IDM calls on Albanian government to increase civil society input on Open Government

April 15, 2014

News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Czech Republic

Following recommendations made by the Institute of Democracy and Mediation (IDM), the Albanian government has published online a draft of its Open Government Initiative Action Plan and a calendar of planned consultations with civil society.

But the government needs to consider more of the recommendations made by those working on making Albania’s government more transparent, according to an IDM analysis of the Action Plan. The government issued the draft Action Plan in connection with Albania’s participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote open government.

The Action Plan makes note of the government’s participation in a December 2013 meeting with IDM. It also mentions a joint IDM-government conference held in Tirana March 28 that was part of “Advocacy for Open Government: Civil society agenda-setting and monitoring of country action plans,” an EU-funded PASOS project intended to encourage governments in the Western Balkans to become more transparent.

IDM’s analysis calls on the government to consider a set of recommendations issued by civil society working groups at “Challenges and Opportunities for Open Government,” the March 28 conference in Tirana organized by IDM and the Albanian Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration.

The IDM analysis criticized the Action Plan for not being specific enough.

“Commitments included in the draft Action Plan 2014-2015 are general and vague; they lack elaborated implementation time-frames; budget estimations and measurable indicators,” the report states. “This will hinder the process of monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan.”

IDM also called on making the Action Plan “OGP relevant.”

“Given that a considerable number of commitments refer to online publication of information (e-governance), it is important to explain the mechanism how this will enhance public participation, public integrity and accountability,” according to the analysis.

IDM acknowledged the usefulness of the new online consultation calendar.

“It is very important that interested actors are informed in due time about the dates and places of the upcoming consultative meetings,” IDM said. “Moreover, recommendations coming from the interested parties should be published online (preferably through a posting online option).”

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