[email protected] – The Transparency Portal – Publication of Government Acts and Decisions

Institutions in the Greek government upload their acts and decisions on the Transparency Portal. Each document is digitally signed and assigned a unique number ensuring that acts and decisions are not valid unless published online. An open data tool enables the re-use of published information. The direct accountability brought by means of the Portal upon the administration, provides fewer opportunities for corruption since citizens and interested parties can monitor the publications and report potential maladministration issues.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The [email protected] programme was launched in 2010 with the aim to compel all government institutions to publish their acts and decisions on the internet in order to make them fully available to the public.

The main objectives of the Programme concern:
- Safeguarding transparency of government actions
- Eliminating corruption by exposing it
- Observing legality and good administration
- Reinforcing citizens’ constitutional rights, such as the participation in the Information Society
- Enhancing and modernizing existing publication systems of administrative acts and decisions
- Making all administrative acts available, easy to access, navigate and comprehend, regardless of the citizen’s knowledge of the internal processes of the administration.

The transparency programme introduced unprecedented levels of transparency within the Greek public administration and established a new “social contract” between the citizen and the state. This initiative has led to a tacit but profound impact on the way officials handle their executive power. Due to the Transparency programme, the administration is directly accountable for any form of corruption which is diminishing since it is exposed more openly by citizens and any interested party. Such collective in depth scrutiny can be extremely effective, since it allows citizens to be directly involved or concerned with an issue, rather than leaving public scrutiny to the media, whose choice of issues necessarily may be restricted and oriented towards sensational topics.

Public authorities adopted the Programme in three phases: Ministries in October 2010, Extended Public Sector and Independent Authorities in November 2010, Regional and Local Authorities in March 2011. In those 10 years, 31 millions acts and decisions have been published from 4.613 public authorities. The current rate of uploads is 16.000 decisions per working day (https://diavgeia.gov.gr/stats).

The system includes the following innovation characteristics:

Access to Information
Government acts and decisions are valid and come into force only if they are published on the Transparency Portal. The uploaded document prevails over all other versions of the act (prototypes in paper). Uploaded acts can be used by citizens and the other public authorities without validation, by solely referring to their unique number.

The Transparency Portal functionality
Accessibility and user inclusion [e.g. for people with disabilities].
Efficient access to government information and documents through a powerful portal search-mechanism.
Online communication channels enable greater user interaction and engagement e.g. possibility of commenting on decisions and acts. Citizens put forward the publication of a particular decision or act and define the reason why it is considered problematic. This information is forwarded to the competent public authority whose responsibility is to ensure that the reported issue will be addressed and the publication be corrected. This communication channel is further supported by a ticketing information system to ensure an effective information workflow for the processing of any reported issue. In case the submitted comment is related to a potential issue of corruption or maladministration, the message is also forwarded to the Controllers of the Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration so they can investigate the issue and take relevant action. The ticketing system ensures that the citizen or the organization who reported the issue will receive feedback on the processing of the reported information.

Project Management
Beyond the leadership and political will from the top, transparency and collaborative governance policies required culture changes that propagate bottom up. In this respect, the function of a dynamic nationwide human network of Project Task Forces that share strong authority to coordinate and educate their associates, as well as to communicate the merits of the programme, contributes to the rapid spread of the new values of transparency, responsibility, accountability, participation and collaboration. The Ministry of Administrative Reform supports the network of the Project Task Forces with focus on providing strong cooperation between the task forces, solving common problems, sharing best practices and collecting feedback. An online Help Desk is the main channel for the submission of suggestions and requests for assistance. Furthermore, popular social media such as Twitter and Facebook is used to achieve the widest possible publicity and as an additional means to circulate and re-publicize the day to day material that is posted on the official Transparency websites.

Technological Infrastructure and Applications
The technological implementation model is based on an agile strategy of “open content” and “open architecture” and allows the dissemination and re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI), providing the necessary tools for open and thorough access to it OpenDataAPI. Various applications have been built, mainly by private companies, NGOs and academic institutions, upon the Transparency open data access tools.

Monitoring and Control
The transparency portal is a powerful tool for reporting and is used by Greek controlling bodies to observe legality and good administration in the public sector, investigate complaints, detect and track down corruption and maladministration phenomena. For example, the Controllers working for the Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration (ICPA) have access to reports from the transparency portal to monitor legality and good administration in public legal entities. In addition, complaints that are received through the online communication tool of the programme are forwarded to the Controllers of the ICPA. A ticketing system is used to ensure the effective information flow of the complaints and any other feedback received by the Citizens.

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Year: 2010
Organisation Type: Government
Level of government: National/Federal government

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