Effective and efficient open government co-ordination in a context of public sector fragmentation

In addition to leadership, effective and efficient co-ordination of open government policies is crucial for their successful implementation. To carry out its strategic role effectively, the CoG not only needs to lead, but it also needs to co-operate and collaborate with all institutions that have a role in the implementation of open government policies. This is all the more important in an area such as open government, as open government initiatives are often of a multi-sector nature (i.e. the importance of ICTs for transparency and access to information) and the wide range of actors involved in the implementation of any country’s open government agenda (e.g. the OGP Action Plan), ranging from the National Post to the Ministry of Health and the Ombudsman, constitute a challenge for the CoG.

The National Open Government Strategy provides an excellent opportunity for the CoG to develop stronger links between different existing strategies, to cluster them under a common open government umbrella and to give them a strong institutional anchorage. Many initiatives, such as the Digital Government Master Plan (Plan Maestro de Gobierno Digital) and the National Telecommunications Development Plan (Plan Nacional de

Desarrollo de las Telecomunicaciones), are still implemented in a relatively siloed way.

The Enlaces Institucionales (i.e. open government contact points), established for the design and implementation of the second OGP action plan, are an important first step to ensure inter-institutional co-ordination.

An initiative taken by the CoG, the Enlaces constitute the contact points of the Deputy Ministry of the Presidency in the different central government ministries, decentralised institutions, some municipalities, the ombudsman, the judiciary etc. At the time of writing, there were 36 Enlaces (see Box 3.6). The government aims to create at least one Enlace in each institution that is involved in the implementation of its open government agenda. The Enlaces have met regularly over the past months and have received capacity-building co-operation from the OGP Support Unit.

While the Enlaces do not formally report to the Deputy Ministry of the Presidency, they volunteer to collaborate with it and have the potential to provide the CoG with an effective co-ordination tool, both horizontally and vertically. However, findings from the OECD Peer Review Missions indicate that the Enlaces - for the time being - are people rather than institutions. The government could consider attaching the Enlaces to a certain position within an institution in order to guarantee policy stability and continuity. The next step could further include creating more contact points at the subnational level and institutionalising the Enlaces via a decree or law.

Box 3.6. The open government contact points - Enlaces Institucionales

  • 1. Costa Rican Social Security Entity (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social)
  • 2. Costa Rican Electricity Institute (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad)
  • 3. National Insurance Institute (Instituto Nacional de Seguros)
  • 4. Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo)
  • 5. National Power and Light Company (Compama Nacional de Fuerza y Luz)
  • 6. Central Bank (Banco Central)
  • 7. Ministry of Public Education (Ministerio de Educacion Publica)
  • 8. Ministry of the Presidency (Ministerio de Presidencia)
  • 9. Ministry of Justice and Peace (Ministerio de Justicia y Paz)
  • 10. Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia y Telecomunicaciones)

Box 3.6. The open government contact points - Enlaces Institucionales (cont’d.)

  • 11. Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes)
  • 12. Ministry of Public Security (Ministerio de SeguridadPublica)
  • 13. Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (Ministerio de Economia Industria y Comercio)
  • 14. Ministry of Environment and Energy (Ministerio de Ambientey Energia)
  • 15. Ministry of Labour and Social Security (Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social)
  • 16. Judicial Power (Poder Judicial)
  • 17. Ombudsmann (Defensoria de los Habitantes)
  • 18. Road Safety Council (Consejo de Seguridad Vial)
  • 19. Pension Superintendency (Superintendent de Pensiones)
  • 20. National Roads Council (Consejo Nacional de Vialidad)
  • 21. National Institute of Statistics and Census (Instituto nacional de Estadistica y Censos)
  • 22. Municipality of Palmares (Municipalidad de Palmares)
  • 23. Technical Secretariat for Digital Government (Secretaria Tecnica de Gobierno Digital)
  • 24. Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy (Ministerio de Planificacion y Politica Economica)
  • 25. Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements (Ministerio de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos)
  • 26. National Training Institute (Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje)
  • 27. Joint Institute for Social Aid (Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social)
  • 28. National Institute of Rural Development (Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Rural)
  • 29. National Institute of Housing and Urban Development (Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo)
  • 30. Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Ministerio de Agriculturay Ganaderia)
  • 31. National Council of Production (Consejo Nacional de Produccion)
  • 32. National Archives (Archivo Nacional)
  • 33. Ministry of Foreign Trade (Ministerio de Comercio Exterior)
  • 34. Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda)
  • 35. Viceministry of Peace (Viceministerio de Paz)
  • 36. General Direction of Civil Service (Direccion General del Servicio Civil)

Source: OGP Costa Rica Action Plan.

In the context of a highly fragmented public sector as in the case of Costa Rica, the successful implementation of open government policies requires a higher degree of collaboration among different institutions and levels of government. In order to fully exploit synergies, the CoG has to ensure:

  • • horizontal policy co-ordination and collaboration
  • • vertical policy co-ordination and collaboration
  • • co-ordination and collaboration with other state actors.
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