The enabling environment for an open state in Costa Rica

Robust institutional and legal frameworks are at the heart of a successful implementation of open government policies and initiatives. Like in many OECD countries, the principles of a transparent, accountable and participatory government are enshrined in the Constitution of Costa Rica, which includes a wide range of articles that lay the groundwork for an open state. The Review provides a comprehensive overview of the legal, institutional and policy environment for open government in Costa Rica. Some possible ways to further improve the effective transformation of national objectives into good practices would be to pass an access to information law and make it applicable to the whole public sector, including the institutionally decentralised sector, and to consider adopting a Law on Citizen Participation. The report further recommends enhancing the inclusiveness of the National Open Government Commission.

The implementation of open government policies from the Centre of Government

The “Centre of Government” (CoG) plays a key role in providing leadership and effectively and efficiently co-ordinating open government policy making and implementation. The current administration transferred the responsibility for the country’s open government agenda from the Digital Government Technical Secretariat to the Deputy Ministry for Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue, which is located in the CoG. This change of responsibility reflects not only the relevance of open government policies to his administration. While the change of responsibility and the creation of the National Open Government Commission in 2015 were significant steps forward, there is a need to support the co-ordination and outreach functions of the Deputy Ministry by allocating more human and - financial resources to it. In addition, in order to maximise the impact of the OGP Action Plan and its direct contribution to the National Development Plan (NDP), it would be critical to better link these two strategic documents and to create a monitoring and evaluation system that could support the implementation of both of them.

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