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Montenegrin app to request government data

Author: Adrian Offerman

The Montenegrin Centre for Democratic Transition (CDT) is to develop a mobile app that citizens can use to ask government agencies for data of public interest. The Centre is one of four winners of the Technology for Citizen Engagement competition, organised by the Cyprus office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Mahallae, a digital neighbourhood for civil engagement developed by Cypriot civil society and innovators from the Euro-Mediterranean region.

The 'Ask for Data' app will contain a list of agencies, a form for the contact information of the submitter, and a template that submitters can use to formulate their requests. The pilot version is expected to be released at the end of this year. It connects to central government, ministries and local governments through e-mail.

Right to information

According to the people from CDT, the mobile app will simplify procedures for requesting for government data, making it easier for citizens to exercise their rights to information. The fact that currently only 17 percent of requests for public information are submitted by private individuals inspired CDT to make this app.

The budget for the 'Ask for Data' app is 7,360 euro. The app will be offered to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), making it available for wider use. We will probably develop the pilot app in Adobe AIR [a proprietary technology], says Milica Bogdanović from CDT, because that is the tool we are familiar with and it works well with Java, HTML and CSS. AIR to us is just a runtime for Android and iOS. Later on, we will decide whether to make this app available as open source software.