Consultations for Drafting of Open Government Partnership Action Plan Initiated

In September 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina became a member of the international initiative Open Government Partnership (OGP), thus committing itself to work on implementation of ambitious reforms in order to improve the transparency and accountability of public bodies. A part of this process is creation of a two-year action plan which defines the priority areas and activities that will contribute to increase the openness of government. Under the Partnership, the action plan should be made through a process of wide consultations between the government, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

Accordingly, the first working meeting brought together representatives of public institutions and civil society organizations, who defined the proposed measures which have the aim to improve the free access to information in BiH. It was concluded that the laws on freedom of information in BiH need to be improved so that they include the obligation of public authorities to proactively publish information in their possession. This represents the implementation of the right to access information by which institutions publish documents and important information on their own initiative and in an organized manner, and not solely on the basis of requests for information. Information published this way is equally available to everyone without restriction. Also, one of the benefits of proactive transparency is that public authorities and their administration reduce the need to respond to individual requests for information. You can read more on proactive transparency in analyses  published by Analitika.

This was the first in a planned series of meetings that will be implemented in order to define concrete measures and activities within the framework of the first Action Plan of BiH, organized by a coalition of non-governmental organizations gathered around the initiative Open Government Partnership in BiH (Centre for Social Research Analitika, Transparency International BiH, Public Interest Advocacy Center, Centre for Investigative Reporting). All proposed measures are available on the Open Government Partnership BiH website, where the public can submit their comments and apply for participation in working sessions.

Consultations for developing an action plan within the OGP will continue on August 21, 2015,  on the second working meeting which will focus on public participation in decision-making, the use of information technology and open data.