Open government policies seek bidirectional, permanent and transparent communication between the Administration and the citizens. This new country we are building needs an open doors Government, with shared policies and active citizens who may trust their institutions. Politics must be given back to citizenship: all citizens are needed to be informed in order to participate when taking politic decisions. It is necessary to consolidate transparent, rigorous institutions that are able to answer the demands of the 21st century citizenship.
The Government of Catalonia faces four great challenges regarding open government:
- To guarantee that the Law on transparency, access to public information and good government is applied rigorously and effectively.
- To institute an open government system within the Catalan Administration that integrates policies on transparency, open data and citizen participation.
- To fight against corruption through the maximum transparency and information possible regarding contracting and public funding.
- To contract in a way that is legally and ethically flawless, socially responsible and economically efficient.
Tools for citizens
Citizens may participate in open government policies through different portals of the Government:
- transparenciacatalunya.cat This portal is managed by the Government and incorporates information from local administrations and other entities throughout Catalonia.
- dadesobertes.gencat.cat It is the portal where the Government’s public data are published, in order to encourage the use and recycling of the data.
- participa.gencat.cat It is the citizen participation portal, from which citizens may access stable participation bodies and the participation processes promoted by the Government.
If citizens can not find the information they need, they can exercise their right of access to public information, which allows them to request all kinds of public information.
Open government boosts within the Government of Catalonia
Secretariat for Transparency and Open Government, from the Ministry of Transparency and Foreign and Institutional Relations and Affairs, is the Government area whose mission is to boost and promote open government within the Government of Catalonia.
Below, there are other bodies which appeared because of the open government policies within the Government:
- Interdepartmental Committee for Transparency and Open Government (CITGO) It coordinates interdepartmentally the Government’s policies on transparency and open government. Besides its members, CITGO is formed by the Technical Committee for Transparency and Access to Information, and the Technical Committee for Citizen Participation.
- Advisory Committee for Public Ethics It must guarantee that the Code of conduct for senior and executive officers, and contribute to improving and strengthening the trust relationship between citizens and public affairs management.
- Committee for the Guarantee of the Right of Access to Public Information (GAIP) It is an independent body that watches over the citizens’ right of access to information in Catalonia, to which any person may send a complaint if a Catalan administration refuses to give them access to requested information, partially or totally.
The keystone: the active citizenship
Citizenship is the main element in all open government policies, as it might use the open data and information to collaborate in the improvement of the Administration. We aspire to an active citizenship which uses information not only as a means to control and evaluate the decision making, but also in order to participate in it and to improve public policies.