II. Collaboration and Deliberation Initiatives

In April 2012, Greece submitted to OGP the first national Action Plan for Open Government. In September 2013, the process of reviewing the action plan, which had started in August 2013, was concluded. This process included drafting the progress report, carrying out collaboration and deliberation meetings with representatives of various entities of the Greek public administration, civil society organisations as well as independent authorities, and finally submitting the draft progress report for open consultation, prior to its finalisation. The progress report by the OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) followed, stating that out of a total number of 11 commitments undertaken within the action plan, two (2) were completely or substantially implemented, while seven (7) were considered partially fulfilled. It is important to highlight that during the period between April 2012, when the first Action Plan was conducted and August 2013, when the new OGP representative was set, significant political changes occurred. Specifically, it should be stressed that two changes occurred in the leadership of the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e- Governance (MAREG), which is the Ministry responsible for the coordination of the national Action Plan implementation. Moreover, other changes regarding designing and implementing governmental strategy on administrative reform and e-governance have taken place.
Starting in August 2013, Open Government Policy is highlighted as an issue of high importance for the Greek Government. The overall strategy is redesigned and the actions on designing and implementing new ambitious and critical goals are intensified. The political leadership of the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance is committed to promote open government policy and has already undertaken a series of initiatives to this end.
In October 2013, during the annual OGP Summit held in London, the representative of the country to OGP, Deputy Minister of Administrative Reform and e-Governance, Dr Evy Christofilopoulou, announced the new policy and the main commitments of Greece in the field of open government. Actions on drafting the new action plan were initiated immediately after the submission of the internal progress report. As of October 2013, executives from the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance, serving as members of the Greek OGP team, have launched a series of meetings with representatives of bodies. Those meetings are ongoing and will continue until the final submission of the new action plan. In December 2013, a meeting was held with the representatives of the civil society, Ministries and independent authorities, with the aim to detect the priorities and main goals of the country on open government. The next step was to organise two consultation and cooperation workshops, ensuring a great level of participation of both governmental bodies and civil society. The first workshop focused on open data and their contribution in development and the second one on transparency and citizen participation. The results of the consultation of those workshops were recorded in two policy papers, which were used in defining the commitments in the present action plan. It is also important to stress the fact that, during the first workshop, the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance officially announced its intention to bring into force the open by default policy, regarding data managed by the Greek Public Administration.
MAREG’s initiatives on open government are not limited to the efforts regarding drafting this OGP action plan. MAREG communicated with all Ministries in order to create a network of human resources, aiming at coordinating all actions in the field of open government. An application was created, enabling the registration of all public sector datasets. MAREG also participated (represented by the Minister and the deputy Minister) to the European Data Forum 2014, during which the new policy on the management and open access to Public Sector Information was announced. Moreover, an open public data HACKATHON was organised, to promote the use of public data, and actions were undertaken regarding informing and promoting social dialogue with high school students from all over the country on the issue of open government.
Finally, the efforts of the Ministry regarding open data should be stressed. Already since October 2013, ‘data.gov.gr’ has been created. It serves as the central portal for public data, which is continuously enriched with new data sets. Moreover, the process of identifying legal interventions that should be adopted regarding both the implementation of the open by default policy and harmonization with the new PSI EU Directive was initiated.
During the period from the 5th to 26th of May, the national Action Plan will be placed in open public consultation in Greek and English and a publicity plan will be implemented to ensure the greatest participation possible in this process. The comments that will be submitted will be assessed to introduce amendments in the commitments (wherever necessary). Moreover, the cooperation with representatives of the public administration as well as civil society organizations will continue until the final submission of the action plan.