The Consultative Meeting on Measures from the Draft National Action Plan for implementation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative in Montenegro for the 2018-2020 period, convened by the Ministry of Public Administration and UNDP was held today.

“The National Action Plan should also be a document that will contribute to improving the transparency and quality of public services. We tried to make the activities we proposed concrete, realistic and financially sustainable. In this regard, the activities in the field of electronic governance represent a special segment, because the public administration reform should be followed by the development of eGovernment and digitalization,” said Goran Jovetić, State Secretary in the MPA. He pointed out that the document is not an end in itself, but its quality implementation, and therefore should continue to use the opportunities for additional consultations with citizens and the interested public, Jovetić said.

Tomica Paović, Head of the Democratic Governance Division and the Economics and Environment Decision at the UNDP Office in Montenegro, pointed out that UNDP was a long-standing partner of the Government of Montenegro in projects that promote transparency of public administration, and that it supported MPA in the development of a new OGP Action Plan. Paović recalled the project Be Responsible that was jointly implemented by the Government of Montenegro and UNDP, in which the citizens played an active role.

The meeting discussed the establishment of a National Identification Document (NID) that will provide users (citizens, businesses) with secure and easy access to services provided electronically. Bojana Bajić, head of the Directorate for Electronic Registries, said that the NID objective is to establish an electronic identification that would metaphorically mean to be “born again”. It is a document that would allow digital identification in different areas (health booklet, identity card, social card, etc.).

In addition, there was discussion at the meeting on eDemocracy, namely, the technically advanced sub-page of eParticipation, talked about by Mirjana Begović, head of the Directorate for Modernisation and Informatisation of the State Administration. She said that eParticipation is in complete correlation with electronic democracy – eDemocracy. Begović presented the technical innovations of the eParticipation sub-page, which should contribute to greater transparency in the process of public consultations, but also of existing services. She pointed out the lack of interest of citizens to participate in public consultations through this channel, and that in the next period the work should be done on the best promotion in cooperation with non-governmental organizations.

Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative launched in 2011, which promotes multilateral cooperation, supports and helps the development of openness, transparency and accountability of the administration through open cooperation of representatives of the state administration, primarily with civil society, but also with other segments of the society, with the aim of promoting and increasing transparency, combating corruption and actively involving and strengthening the participation of citizens and the civil sector in the creation of public policies. Montenegro joined the OGP on February 13, 2012, and signed the declaration on the open government as a participating country.

The Action Plan contains measures and activities in the field of providing public services, public participation, fiscal transparency, the integrity of public administration, access to information, open data, etc. By the end of the year, Montenegro should prepare an Action Plan, which is the most important component of a country’s participation in the OGP initiative.