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Posts Tagged ‘egov’

I have not been lazy lately, meeting many organizations involved in gov20 and elaborating different plans to make things happen locally. I have learnt that a near city has just hired someone to work on edemocracy and e-participation! Concerning liberTIC’s activity, another step will be made next month so stay in touch.

Here follow is a guide I’ve been reading for my studies.

Almost ten years ago, OECD suggested the stillupdated following guiding principles for successful information, consultation and active participation in policy-making:

1.Commitment

Leadership and strong commitment to information, consultation and active participation in policy-making is needed at all levels – from politicians, senior managers and public officials.

2. Rights

Citizens rights to access information, provide feedback, be consulted and actively participate in policy-making must be firmly grounded in law or policy. Government obligations to respond to citizens when exercising their rights must also be clearly stated. Independent institutions for oversight, or their equivalent, are essential to enforcing these rights.

3.Clarity

Objectives for, and limits to, information, consultation and active participation during policy-making should be well defined from the outset. The respective roles and responsibilities of citizens (in providing input) and government (in making decisions for which they are accountable) must be clear to all.

4. Time

Public consultation and active participation should be undertaken as early in the policy process as possible to allow a greater range of policy solutions to emerge and to raise the chances of successful implementation. Adequate time must be available for consultation and participation to be effective. Information is needed at all stages of the policy cycle.

5. Objectivity

Information provided by government during policy-making should be objective, complete and accessible. All citizens should have equal treatment when exercising their rights of access to information and participation.

6. Resources

Adequate financial, human and technical resources are needed if public information, consultation and active participation in policy-making are to be effective. Government officials must have access to appropriate skills, guidance and training as well as an organisational culture that supports their efforts.

7. Co-ordination

Initiatives to inform, request feedback from and consult citizens should be co-ordinated across government to enhance knowledge management, ensure policy coherence, avoid duplication and reduce the risk of consultation fatigue among citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs). Co-ordination efforts should not reduce the capacity of government units to pursue innovation and ensure flexibility.

8. Accountability

Governments have an obligation to account for the use they make of citizens inputs received through feedback, public consultation and active participation. Measures to ensure that the policy-making process is open, transparent and amenable to external scrutiny and review are crucial to increasing government accountability overall.

9. Evaluation

Governments need the tools, information and capacity to evaluate their performance in providing information, conducting consultation and engaging citizens in order to adapt to new requirements and changing conditions for policy-making.

10. Active citizenship

Governments benefit from active citizens and a dynamic civil society and can take concrete actions to facilitate access to information and participation, raise awareness, strengthen citizens civic education and skills as well as to support capacity-building among civil society organisations.

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During a parliamentary question on the French initiatives in the communication of public information, referring to the U.S. plan “data.gov“, French Prime Minister recalled the long-existing french portals access to information :

legifrance.fr for Laws
service-public.fr for Administration
statistics-publique.fr for Statistics
All of these websites make simpler access to still complicated informations -not mentioning the re-looking need. But hey, french Data Publica to be opened in 2011.

When the US “data.gov” (or the newborn data.gov.uk) leads to increase the emergence of new services, France approach leads to increase the yet emerged “bureaucracy”.

Let’s remind:

Vivek Kundra, Obama’s CIO was hired in March 2009 and US Data.gov was launched in May 2009
– “Bureaucracy” is a french word

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With their respective Opendata Directives, Australia, USA and UK took a large step away from France on national transparency. While American Senate makes available all its voting datas, french national assembly still don’t show any informations, leading french citizens and non-governmental organizations to gather and work over getting datas created and usable.

Nosdeputes.fr is a french website willing to emphasize Parliament action. The dozen of democracygeek volunteers working on this project is synthesizing the various legislative activities of the elected officials. Their first work was to get and then make available the datas concerning commission works, speaches, law votes… This action leaded to the publication of the assiduity-graph of french deputies.

Soon came a new challenge.

Assemblée Nationale - Richardying CC

Assemblée Nationale - Richardying CC

After 2009 and a national debate over the lack of attendance of deputies to the National Assembly, internal assembly rules were modified with new amendment stating:

Beyond two absences […], each absence of a deputy at a commission or ordinary session [of Wednesday], gives place to the withdrawal of 25% on the monthly amount of its salary ».

As written previously, the workingday not attended by deputies are not public datas. Presidents of each commissions do have a list but it is not published. So guess what civilians from Nodeputes, under the organization Regardscitoyens.fr just did ?

They used their attendee made-up list to create a mashup to define absences and then published their study.

By calculating how many deputy-related-commissions took place and how many deputies really showed up on the days of commissions, they got the result.

According to the study, the new amendment did led to a higher attendance rate.

On average between the years 2008 and 2009, the deputies thus increased their frequentation of the obligatory meetings of Wednesday of 54%, passing from an average of one Wednesday presence out of three with one out of two.

And this assiduity is not limited to the only meetings of Wednesday: for these three same months, we can observe that the average of presence of a deputy in committee increases by 36%, that is to say the passage of approximately 3 days of commissions per month in 2008 to 4 in 2009.

Deputies attendance (Nosdeputes.fr)

Deputies attendance (Nosdeputes.fr)

RegardsCitoyens.org published the 42 deputies names who did not respect the amendement and their calcul shows 25 433€ shall be recovered from the total salaries but according to the Parliament, no salary deduction was required for the moment. This situation is particularly ironic as the leading-party UMP is willing to suppress welfares to families whose child misses school.

Video showing Assembly data (un)access, in french only

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