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Italy to implement its second OGP Action Plan

Author: Adrian Offerman

Italy has published its second OGP Action Plan, covering the period 2014-2016. The central themes in the plan are participation, transparency, technological innovation, integrity, and accountability. Several online portals, including the Italian open data platform, will be extended with new functionality.

Italy joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2011. The progress report (Independent Report Mechanism, IRM) on the implementation of the Action Plan 2012-2013 was published one year ago.

Meanwhile, Italy has been working on its second Action Plan, covering the period 2014-2016. The Department of Public Administration, the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) and the National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC) have worked together and met with civil society representatives. Their discussions have focussed on five themes: participation, transparency, technological innovation, integrity, and accountability. The new plan was published in December 2014.

Actions

The current Participate! portal was found to be underdeveloped. After its relaunch, it will still be a platform for consultations, but in addition it will function as a single point of access allowing citizens and stakeholders to raise issues and make suggestions for administrations. Furthermore, visitors will be able to open an account, allowing them to be kept informed on the participation process, for example through alerts.

With regard to the themes of transparency, integrity and accountability, three actions are planned. The "transPArency +1" initiative will use the ANAC concept of "participatory surveillance" to increase the transparency of the Italian government. Citizens will be encouraged to address public agencies directly or ask the ANAC to investigate. The Campagnatrsparenza portal will be extended to facilitate citizens in this matter.

In addition, AgID will help the government to extend the Italian open data portal. This portal will include more meta data, but it also will be developed into a platform where data providers and users can collaborate.

The third action is called "Follow the money". Since the public accounting system SIOPE was never intended to be used for public consultation, AgID has developed the Soldipubblici portal. Additional functionality and data will be added over the next months.

Government-as-a-Service

The last theme of the Action Plan, technological innovation, evolves around "Digital Citizenship", aiming to provide citizens and business with the tools to interact with each other and with the government digitally. The instruments are defined by AgID in the "Digital Growth" plan. Some examples include digital identities, the computerisation of public administrations, and electronic invoicing. The new tools will be facilitated by a new "Government as a Service" platform, providing low-cost cloud services, greater simplicity of payments and increased transparency, and simplified processes. All in all, this should lower the costs of public services and increase the digital skills of the people involved.