The IJC is launching the top of the most open institutions
03.07.2013 - According to a study launched by the IJC as part of the project “Open Governance for an Informed and Active Society”, the Ministry of Health (with 112 sets of data), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (with 90 sets of data), and the National Bureau of Statistics (with 86 sets of data) are leaders on the portal www.date.gov.md in terms of the amount of data that has been made public.

The above list is followed by the Ministry of Economy, with 50 sets of data, and Ministry of Education, with 31 sets of data. Eight more ministries and institutions published between 11 and 19 sets of data, and other 23 – between two and nine sets.

Five central authorities published no sets of data since the portal date.gov.md had been launched: the Medication Agency, the Center of Accreditation in the Field of Products Conformity Assessment, the National Center for Public Health, the National Center of Blood Transfusion, and the Customs Service.

The top has been produced on the basis of a report that assessed the process of opening public governmental data in 2012 in the context of implementation of the Open Government Action Plan, including the degree of their accessibility and usefulness for the civil society and mass media.

It should be noted that on 29 April 2011, by Directive no. 43, the Government of the Republic of Moldova decided to create a portal of public governmental data, www.date.gov.md, “in order to ensure the transparency of decision-making and citizen participation in governance, as well as the access of citizens and businesses to public governmental data.”

The analysis has identified a number of problems in opening public governmental data, such as:

  •  The portal date.gov.md failed to become a single information desk of open data held by governmental institutions, since most ministries and central authorities continue to publish sets of open data on their websites;
  • The sets of data published on the portal date.gov.md are rarely used by journalists and civil society representatives in writing articles, studies and so on, while 44% of respondents find them of little or no use in covering issues of public interest;
  • Limited possibilities of sorting open data by field of activity of the institution or by period;
  • Failure to follow a single format for publishing data, which creates difficulties in accessing them.

To increase the usefulness for journalists and civil society, it is recommended:

  • To identify clear criteria for determining the full spectrum of governmental data that need to be opened by each institution, which should be done by each institution in collaboration with the civil society;
  • To establish well-defined criteria for publishing sets of open data so that they are complete, comprehensive, and current;
  • To train coordinators of open governmental data in terms of techniques and criteria for collecting, systematizing, and publishing sets of data.

The report also examines the ways in which ministries and other central authorities opened the 29 sets of data indicated in Government Decision no. 195 of 4 April 2012 in the context of joining the global Open Government Partnership. The main conclusions are as follows:

  • Ministries failed to open 31% of the sets of data, while 21% are partly open;
  • 45% of the data opened or partly opened by ministries are incomplete. In most cases, data are not current and detailed, with ministries only publishing general statistics;
  • 50% of the opened sets of data are relevant and useful for mass media and civil society in covering issues of public interest. Other information published by ministries is incomplete, not current, and too general to be used by journalists and analysts in producing articles, studies, and other materials.

The full report can be found on www.ijc.md (the IJC) and www.soros.md (Soros Foundation Moldova).

The project “Open Government for an informed and active society”, will be implemented by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) and Association for Participatory Democracy “ADEPT” between March 2013-March 2014, with the financial support of the Soros Foundation Moldova under the Good Governance Program. Details about this project can be found on www.soros.md (Soros Foundation Moldova), www.ijc.md (IJC), and www.e-democracy.md (ADEPT)

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