Working Groups and the Implementation of the OGP Action Plan in the First Quarter
Publisher: Center for Research and Policy Making, Macedonia
Although there is evidently greater awareness and ownership of the Open Government Initiative by civil society, a common understanding of what to make of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Macedonia is still missing, according to this Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) paper.
“The same problem that existed in the first (National Action Plan) NAP is transferred to the second one: measures already planned by other action plans or annual programs of the government are replicated as measures in the OGP NAP,” according to the analysis, which offers a status report on the implementation of Macedonia’s Open Government Action Plan during the first quarter of 2015.
“This practice of copying commitments from other documents, in fact, makes the OGP NAP redundant, as it is obvious that most activities would have been carried out even if the OGP NAP did not exist. However, the pressure to have as many measures implemented, while there is no dedicated budget for OGP, pushes stakeholders to seek such solutions, because, as has been witnessed in both OGP NAPs, existing measures with planned and approved budget are eventually implemented; while new measures that are not backed by alternative donor funds remain unimplemented.”
The paper was released in connection with Advocacy for Open Government, an EU-funded PASOS project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.
The CRPM report makes a series of recommendations to counter deficiencies in the implementation of Macedonia’s NAP. The recommendations including the following:
- The NAP document must be structured in precise, measurable statements, name specific activities, display the source and amount of funding, as well as contains original, innovative measures, which are not replicated from other documents and specify implementing party for each measure.
- A multi-sectoral commission should be established for the purpose of reviewing the last draft of NAP for the abovementioned criteria before it is submitted to the government.
- To ensure that the OGP NAP will have innovative and sustainable measures, drafting of NAP must be timed accordingly with the drafting of the state budget and senior officials need to advocate for the significance of dedicating state funding to the OGP initiative in the country.
Other recommendations address how to enhance coordination and strengthen cooperation between civil society and authorities working on the issue.