Inaugural Session of the Advisory Council of the Open Government Partnership Initiative (OGP) in BiH
The inaugural session of the Advisory Council of the “Open Government Partnership” initiative was held on 29 and 30 May 2018 in Doboj. The session was attended by appointed government representatives of all administrative levels and four civil society organisations.
At the inaugural session Dragan Ćuzulan, the incumbent PAR coordinator, was unanimously elected Chair of the Advisory Council and Elvira Mujkić, project manager at Transparency International BiH, was unanimously elected Deputy Chair of the Advisory Council.
The session also adopted the Rules of Procedure of the Council specifying, inter alia, that the Chair and Deputy Chair will serve a two-year term of office with the possibility of re-election and tasking the council members with coordinating the preparation of the draft Action Plan for the implementation of the “Open Government Partnership” initiative with public administration authorities, in line with the constitutional and statutory responsibilities of the government levels that appointed them. Pursuant to the Rules of Procedure, the work of the Advisory Council is open to the public.
The second day included a workshop on the development of the OGP action plan. Work on the action plan involves close cooperation between public administration bodies at all levels of government in BiH and CSOs, with the aim of better defining priorities and activities. Improving dialogue and cooperation between government and civil society is considered a key step in the development and implementation of the Framework Action Plan for the implementation of the initiative. Head of the Programme for Strengthening Public Institutions Mathias Mühle addressed the participants, stressing the importance of the OGP principles and citing the example of the OGP National Action Plan adopted in 2017 by the German Federal Government.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is supposed to develop a framework action plan to be made up of the action plans of the BiH Council of Ministers, entity governments and Brčko District Government, with a view to meeting the commitments under the Initiative.
A multilateral initiative, the Open Government Partnership is a global effort by multiple member states to improve the work of governments worldwide. OGP is aimed at securing concrete progress in promoting transparency in public administration, increasing civic engagement and empowering citizens and civil society, combatting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to improve the quality of services provided by public administration.
Support in the organisation of the inaugural session of the Advisory Council was provided by the Programme for Strengthening Public Institutions (SPI) in BiH, which is implemented by GIZ at the behest of the German Federal Government.
As part of the SPI’s thematic area “Communications”, since 2014 GIZ has been supporting partner institutions in BiH on behalf of the German Federal Government in implementing the principles of open government. The first workshop on the Open Government Partnership was held in March 2014 and it was attended by representatives of nine institutions and five CSOs. In 2015 GIZ provided technical support to undertaking and implementing an initiative for proactive transparency, involving cooperation between civil society and government. In December 2016, in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Justice, PARCO and Transparency International, GIZ conducted a two-day training workshop on open government for about 40 civil servants from state-level institutions.
Source: Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office, www.parco.gov.ba