The Italian participation in OGP
The role of the Department for Public Administration
Italy's participation in the Open Government Partnership is ensured by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – the Department for Public Administration (DFP), representing the Italian Government. This role entails the commitment to promote and implement the principles of open government at the national level through the development and implementation of the National Action Plans (NAP). In addition, the DFP supported the creation of the Community OGP Italia - an actor in the development and implementation of the five NAPs created in Italy since 2011, the year of joining the Partnership.
At the national level, the DFP acts as a "facilitator" between various stakeholders of open government, contributing to the dialogue between public administrations (PA) and civil society organizations (CSO) which represent the needs of citizens and businesses.
At the international level, the DFP promotes Italian good practices of open government, in addition to the contribution - since 2017 within the OGP Steering Committee - to the discussions with partners about the development of strategies and work plans of the Partnership and to the evaluation of standards and participation requirements for the member Countries.
The Office for Administrative Innovation, Skills Development and Communication (UISC) of the DFP has been promoting since 2020 "interventions for modernization and innovation of public administrations aimed at improving the organization and processes, quality of services, integrity, innovation and citizen’s participation in the context of open government processes including the access and administrative transparency tools".
Since 2021, the UISC has been collaborating with the project "Opengov: methods and tools for open government", funded by FormezPA under the NOP Governance and Institutional Capacity 2014-2021, Axis I - Specific objective 1.1 "Increasing transparency, interoperability and access to public data" - Action 1.1.1. In this regard, a special Task Force for open government (TF OG) has been created, coordinated by the UISC Director General, consisting, in addition to the Italian Point of Contact for OGP (PoC), of several thematic experts working in the areas of transparency and anti-corruption, inclusive digital innovation, participation and promotion of civic space.
The PoC has a task of interacting with all national and international stakeholders, publishing and sharing documents regarding the achieved results on the national website, collaborating with the OGP Support Unit and participating in the OGP meetings and in the per-to-peer exchanges with other members of the Partnership.
The staff of OGP Italia, composed of the UISC and FormezPA representatives, support the working teams in the implementation of the National Action Plans, making available various co-working tools for CSOs and PAs.
The steps of the Italian participation in OGP
Italy joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) from the very beginning in 2011, committing itself to develop and implement 4 subsequent National Action Plans (NAPs), based on a dialogue with civil society, enhancing in time the capacity to implement the open government principles, also through organization and participation in national and international events and initiatives.
These activities have attracted an increasing number of public administrations, mainly national but local, which have contributed to the development and implementation of the NAPs. Simultaneously, the membership of civil society organisations (CSO) has increased; they were regularly consulted to identify the issues to be addressed in the NAPs and to assess the effectiveness of the practices carried out by the administrations. Together both groups – the representatives of the Government and civil society – constitute the Community OGP Italia, the national reference for all stakeholders interested in promoting open government.
In 2014 Italy participated in the first edition of the Open Government Awards - an international award to recognise the reform initiatives carried out by governments and civil society - ranking 4th with the initiative OpenCoesione, which ensures transparency of the use of the EU structural funds.
In 2016 the civil society participation within the Community OGP Italia became more structured through the creation of the Open Government Forum (OG Forum), established to ensure a broader and more participatory discussion between citizens and the Government on the issues of open government. The Forum, which hosts CSOs, university research departments, businesses and consumer protection associations, in early 2020 comprised over 100 organizations involved in drafting and monitoring of the NAPs.
In 2017, Italy became a member of the Steering Committee for a first three-year term renewed in 2020. Furthermore, in 2017 Italy organized the first edition of the Open Government Week (OGW) dedicated to meetings, consultations, seminars and public debates, focus groups, webinars and other initiatives across the country to promote the principles and practices of open government. The initiative was followed within the Partnership, turning since 2018 into a worldwide event known as the OpenGov Week.
In 2018 Italy hosted the European Open Government Leaders’ Forum in Milan which enabled important discussions between decision-makers, officials, experts and civil society organizations. The Milan Outcome Document highlights the implicit potential of open government principles for social progress towards more advanced and equitable forms of democracy.
At the end of 2020, Italy was appointed the incoming Co-Chair of the OGP Steering Committee for 2022, assuming the role in December 2021, ten years after its accession, during the Global Summit together with the representative of civil society Aidan Eyakuze, the Executive Director of Twaweza (Tanzania). In February 2022 the two co-chairs published their agenda. After a period of standstill and difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which has discontinued in-person meetings for a long while, at the beginning of 2021 the Community OGP Italia resumed its activities by the organization of online meetings which brought to a conclusion the 4th NAP and launched the discussion on the development of the subsequent one.
Between July 2021 and February 2022 the Community OGP Italia, consolidated anew through an active participation of the representatives of 53 CSOs and 57 PAs, launched the co-creation process that produced the fifth National Action Plan for open government (2022 - 2023). Since March 2022, 32 CSOs and 22 PAs have been working together on the implementation of the 5NAP.