FIF Develops Proposals for the Russian Federation's OGP National Action Plan
In April, Russia joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) international initiative. An OGP member country should develop a national Action Plan aimed to solve specific problems of state governance system openness in the country.
Civil society participation in state governance processes is a basic principle of the Open Government Partnership. The national OGP Action Plan (to be approved at top governmental level) should be developed with wide consulting support from independent experts and NGO representatives.
Our specialists have developed a number of proposals and advices for possible introduction in the Russia’s OGP Action Plan.
- To establish the institution of informational ombudsman with powers for mediation settlement.
- To establish a body in charge of control of legislation observance in the governmental openness field.
- To develop a staff training and retraining program in the governmental openness field.
- To develop a university curriculum for future professionals in the governmental openness field.
- Each government body should assign an official or a structure entity whose main function will be to implement procedures related to information access provision.
- Each government body should develop its own informational openness policy.
- Each government body should develop an extended list of information on its activities for mandatory publication at its official website (based on Article 14 of the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government.
- To amend the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government and the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation a “three-request rule” so that a government body or a court, having got a request for provision of the same information from three or more persons, should publish that information at its official website.
- To amend the same two laws so that technical requirements for all official website should be approved by the Government of the Russian Federation or by a federal executive government body empowered by the Government.
- To enable annual reviews of Article 14 of the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government and of Article 13 of the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation for extension of the lists they provide (in order to add new information categories and to clarify wording for existing categories).
- To amend the Administrative Offence Code of the Russian Federation in order to strengthen responsibility for violating FOI legislation and to prolong the relevant periods of prescription for administrative responsibility up to a year from the moment of the offence detection.
- To reform legislation on state secrecy.
- To reform legislation on administrative (official) secrecy.
- To reform legislation on archive-keeping.
- To reform legislation on personal data (in order to clarify the “personal data” term definition).
- To establish legislation on privacy protection that should define the terms “personal secret” and “family secret”
- To amend the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation so that the term “judicial acts” should include all court decisions and definitions without any exceptions, not only decisions of the substance of the cases.
- To amend the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation so that general jurisdiction courts should be obliged to publish at their official websites their judicial acts, issued within open court hearings, without any omissions or deletions.
- To amend the two above-mentioned laws in order to clarify definitions for the terms “information on activities of government bodies and bodies of self-government” and “information on activities of courts”.
- To amend civil and criminal procedural legislation so that terms for enforcing and/or contesting of a judicial act start on its publication at the relevant official website.
- To amend civil (administrative) procedural legislation so that material evidence (restricted-access documents) in the cases on refusals to provide information due to its classification as information for restricted access should be examined only by the judge, without participation of the case parties but in their presence, and with mandatory fixation in the court hearing protocol.
Disclosure of information volumes for open access free of charge
- To launch a web portal for legal information that should place all legislation from federal to municipal levels, all judicial acts of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, general jurisdiction courts, arbitration courts, constitutional/charter courts of the Russian Federation subjects, and additional information (draft acts at all readings, feasibility studies, comments, conclusions, etc.) in similar way to the State Duma’s informational system
- To launch an open data web portal
- To enhance the web portal for information on state/municipal service vacancies
- To enhance the web portal for information on state procurements
- To enhance the web portal with information on auctions
- To launch a web portal for disclosing declarations on state and municipal officials’ incomes
- To launch an open budget web portal placing all budgets from federal to municipal level
- To enhance the web portal disclosing information on results of all research/development works performed upon state or municipal order
- To launch a web portal for placing the register of all social benefits
- To launch a web portal for statistical information
- To launch a web portal a web portal of governmental and municipal informational systems
- To launch a navigation web portal (with cartographic and geographic data)
- To launch a web portal for technical information (such as national standards, technical regulations, etc.)
- To launch a federal realty cadastre web portal
- To launch a web portal for registration of legal persons and individual entrepreneurs
- To launch a law enforcement web portal placing information on conviction records, legal incapacitations, disqualifications, and police statistical data
- To launch a patent web portal
- To launch a web portal for licenses and certifications
- Each government body should outline funding for enabling its informational openness as a separate budget line in its budget.
- Each government body should maintain detailed statistics for received requests for information and other ways to provide information access; such statistics should be included in the federal statistical plan.
- Free access to users’ complaints against governmental bodies’ official websites should be organized; this will allow organizations like the Freedom of Information Foundation to take into account users’ opinions when monitoring official websites.