Public Institutions and Proactive Disclosure of Information in Bosnia and Herzegovina: How to Turn Exceptions into Rules

Access to information legislation in BiH has not defined the obligation of public institutions to publish relevant public information on their own initiative, without specific requests by citizens, which lags behind international standards. However, the research has shown that, despite the lack of adequate legislation and organised systematic approach to this matter, some of the institutions on the state level have made significant results in proactive disclosure of information.

Themes: Governance and Service DeliveryParticipatory Decision MakingTransparency and Open GovernmentInstitutional Communication
Dino Jahić

This publication offers an analysis of the key factors that contribute to the development of proactive transparency in public institutions. In this context, the discussion paper provides an insight into good practices of proactive disclosure in certain institutions, as well as policies and regulations on the basis of which the information is published, resources and organization within the institution itself, the reasons for the introduction of proactive transparency, and results that have been achieved due to proactive disclosure of information of public interest.

The analysis has shown, among other things, that the proactive disclosure of information largely depends on good internal organization of institutions, the functional distribution of tasks, good will of employees and support from leadership. Good internal communication, distribution of tasks, and coordination within the institution results in a greater amount of timely disclosed information.

Also, the development and adoption of internal rules and procedures for information management within institutions presents an important factor for successful proactive transparency. Two-way communication and listening to citizens’ needs, and accordingly, the disclosure of information, leads to better results in proactive transparency - both for institutions and end-users.

The discussion paper is published within the project "Public Data Now - Civil Society Initiative for Open Government Policies and Practices", implemented by the Foundation Mediacentar Sarajevo, Analitika - Center for Social Research, and the European Journalism Centre (EJC), financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sarajevo (MATRA program).

The publication, currently prepared only in local languages, is available HERE.