Policy of Proactive Transparency in BiH Adopted
The Council of Ministers of BiH, at its session held 3 December 2018, adopted the Policy and Standards of Proactive Transparency in Institutions of Council of Ministers of BiH, in line with one of conclusions from the Information Paper of the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office on Activities in the area of improving proactive transparency.
“Proactive publication of information of public importance directly contributes to achieving the concept of good governance in BiH, brings back public confidence in the work of government institutions, and enables the citizens to be better informed in order to exercise their participation in the work of public administration”, stated for the news agency Fena Mr Dragan Ćuzulan, Public Administration Reform Coordinator.
Mr Ćuzulan emphasised that transparency of administration is important for multiple reasons; it justifies existence of the administrative apparatus, strengthens public trust towards legitimately elected government representatives, saves resources and encourages establishment of the society of knowledge and competences.
He added that four institutions of the Council of Ministers of BiH: Agency for Statistics of BiH, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance in BiH, Directorate for European Integrations, Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office, which have participated in developing the Proactive Transparency Policy in Public Administration in BiH, together with representatives of civil society and with support of the German GIZ within the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in BiH. Already in September 2015, these institutions have started with implementation of the identified standards of proactive transparency. Overview of the achievement of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in 2015 in the area of proactive transparency can be seen here. Since then, the German GIZ, on behalf of the German Federal Government provided technical assistance to institutions in the form of trainings, workshops, drafting documents and publications, sharing experiences among institutions and in the form of organising thematic conferences for general public.
The Public Administration Reform Coordinator reminded of the last year’s BiH status report by the EU/OECD SIGMA, which stated that, among other things, at no level of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina there were provisions in place that promoted proactive transparency, like, for example, an extensive list of information that needed to be published on web sites of the public institutions.
“Adoption of policies and standards of proactive transparency strengthens democratic processes in BiH, and enables citizens to be better informed on the work of public administration”, said the Public Administration Reform Coordinator. Mr Ćuluzan emphasised that the importance of the proactive transparency policy, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers of BiH, also stems from the fact that it was developed in cooperation with civil society, and is one of the first policies that have been co-created by applying principles of Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Having adopted the information on activities in the area of proactive transparency, the Council of Ministers of BiH charged all institutions at national level to regularly update the documents and information published on their respective official web sites and to provide to the Public Reform Coordinator’s Office data regarding implementation of the Policy and standards of proactive transparency within six months.
Proactive access to information of public importance is also in the focus of the new Strategic Framework for Public Administration Reform for the period 2018-2022, as well as part of the Open Government Partnership, an initiative which Bosnia and Herzegovina joined in 2014. Also, the Anti-Corruption Strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2015-2019) states that “the authorities should upon their own initiative and on the basis of the amended normative framework, publish as much information as possible proactively, i.e. even when nobody requests such information, and they should do so in the form of searchable databases, whenever possible. It is equally important to ensure that such information is updated and that the authorities are responsible for their accuracy and completeness”.
Source: Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office, www.parco.gov.ba