Proactive Transparency Initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Proactive Transparency initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first policy to address proactive disclosure of government information, co-created by the public institutions and civil society organisations. The result of of this collaboration was a policy document, 38 defined standard pieces of information, research conducted by civil society and improvement of government transparency.

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In line with the need to improve the level of proactive transparency of public administration bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the members of the inter-institutional working group for communications, established within the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions, implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the German GIZ on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, in joint work with representatives of the civil societies, co-created the following documents: Proactive Transparency Policy and Standards of Proactive Transparency in Public Administration. The document is designed not only to encourage public disclosure of information of relevance to the work of institutions, but also to intensify the exchange of information with the citizens. The recommendations offered by the document are applicable to all institutions of public administration and public bodies. Therefore, its intermediary goal is for institutions to use their own example as a gateway to increasing the level of transparency and openness of institutions in BiH, sharing the gained experience and knowledge of proactive transparency in the field of communication through the structures for public administration reform and multipliers of public opinion.

Proactive transparency standards include a set of 38 types of information that should be available on public institutions' websites. These standards are defined in cooperation between representatives of institutions and civil society in order to reflect the capabilities and capacities of institutions as well as the needs of the civil society for information.

This is the first attempt to elaborate and then implement a systematically set, comprehensive framework for proactive transparency in BiH, which would address the problem of obsolescence and fragmentation of existing laws and policies in that area.

The four institutions of the Council of Ministers of BiH (the Agency for Statistics of BiH, the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH, the Directorate for European Integration and the Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office), who have participated in the drafting of the Standards, have begun implementing the defined proactive transparency standards in September 2015, and Standards were presented to other institutions at the BiH level as an example of good practice in proactive transparency.

Conscious of the importance of the implementation of public administration reform, which, through the new Public Administration Reform Strategic Framework (2018-2022) in the areas of accountability, strategic planning and policy coordination, and public services, inter alia includes measures relating to the principles of proactive transparency and the fight against corruption and increasing the participation of citizens in public affairs, which is not possible without a satisfactory level of information, in the course of 2017, up to now, four institutions have continued to update the data on their websites, and to publish relevant information available to the public in their possession and relevant to Proactive Transparency Standards.

Proactive publication of information directly contributes to realization of the concept of good governance in BiH, restores public confidence in the work of public institutions, and provides citizens with information in order to achieve their participation in the work of public administration.

Following a series of trainings, conferences and other measures aimed at improving the awareness of how important proactive disclosure is for government and citizens alike, the Policy of Proactive Transparency and its 38 standards were adopted by the Council of Ministers in December 2018. All state-level institutions are now required to implement the standards and report on their progress to the Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office.

The initiative if also included in the draft OGP Action Plan with measures aimed at further dissemination of good practices and increased transparency.

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Year: 2015
Organisation Type: Government
Level of government: National/Federal government

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