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Open Government

About Open Government

Open government is a culture of public governance that is based on the principles of transparency, accountability, and public participation, and seeks to strengthen democracy and sustainable development through technology and innovation. The application of the principles of openness in the daily activities of institutions ensures better quality public services, efficient use of public funds, sustainability of public policy decisions, and their understanding.

Horizontal areas for better results:

  • decision making;
  • open data;
  • budget;
  • public services;
  • civil service;
  • Government-society dialogue;
  • public procurement.
     

An open state is one in which the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, independent state institutions, and local authorities (recognising their functions, prerogatives, and independence under the existing legal and institutional framework) in all sectors operate openly, cooperate, and seek synergies for transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in the life of the state. 

An open state consists of the following:

  • open Government;
  • open courts;
  • open parliament;
  • open local authorities;
  • open independent control bodies.

An open state is a feature of modern democracy, the key to renewing the relationship between citizens and government, and building trust in government. The idea of an open state is being developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to pool the entire public sector to develop open government.

Open public governance principles

Lithuania follows the following internationally recognised principles of open public governance:

Transparency. The way public sector operates, where organisations operate in a visible, predictable, and understandable way, and where plans, processes, funding, and other information are presented in a public and clear manner. The principle includes dissemination of information, communication, publicity, responsibility of decision-makers, and validity and clarity of decisions.

Accountability. Responsibility of public sector organisations and accountability to the public: they must be accountable for their work, the achieved results, and funding in an understandable and user-friendly way, and take responsibility for the decisions made, explaining their reasons. Accountability is not only a calendar year report, but also feedback and rationale given for each important process and decision.

Participation. The process by which citizens, with a view to influencing decisions, are free to express their views, discuss relevant issues, and submit proposals in a variety of forms and ways (written submissions, round tables, working groups, etc.). Participation includes informing, consultation, involving, and empowering citizens and civil society organisations.
 

More information on the structure and activities of the Open Government:

In 2011 Lithuania committed itself to ensure government openness, having joined the Open Government Partnership international initiative that aims to help states open up public institutions and processes to the public.

More than 70 countries around the world have joined the initiative. More information about the initiative: www.opengovpartnership.org.

Lithuania contributes to the Open Government Partnership initiative during the co-creative process through the cooperation of institutions and civil society, and in developing and implementing the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan. The Action Plan sets out commitments and deliverables in the area of openness for a period of two years. The Plan is based on the principles of transparency, public participation, and accountability.

More about Open Government Partnership here

The Open Government Unit of the Communications Department of the Office of the Government of Lithuania is responsible for the development of a culture of openness in the public sector.

Areas of activity include strengthening the dialogue between government and society, developing the concept of an open state for Lithuania, strengthening openness competencies and providing methodological education for the public sector, informing the public about opportunities to participate in decision-making, promoting inclusive legislation, providing personal service, and improving service practices in institutions. 

The Unit also takes care of the Open Government Partnership international initiative coordination in Lithuania.

An Inter-Institutional Working Group on Open Government, consisting of representatives of the public sector, non-governmental organisations, and the academic community, ensures responsible participation of Lithuania in the Open Government Partnership international initiative, by contributing to the development, monitoring, and evaluation of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plans. The working group also discusses other matters related to the development of open public governance in Lithuania.

The Open Government Network is a network of stakeholders to disseminate good practice in open government and implement openness initiatives. Members of the network contribute to the development and implementation of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plans. For more information about the network and registration, see here (in Lithuanian).

Membership of the Open Government Network

In 2021, the Network involved more than 80 citizens from various oworking fields and sectors: non-governmental organisations, businesses, public sector, and science. The diversity of its members expose the strength of the network.

The network is open for anyone to join, including:

  • field experts;
  • business representatives;
  • representatives of non-governmental organisations;
  • representatives of the public sector;
  • representatives of the academic community;
  • representatives of municipalities and regions;
  • global Lithuanians;
  • citizens who care about the openness of the public sector.

Why join?

Having joined, you could:

  • contribute to the dissemination of the values of openness;
  • offer ideas and activities that would contribute to the development and implementation of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan;
  • participate in meetings, creative workshops, discussions, and other events on open government;
  • receive news and have your finger on the pulse of open public governance.

It is possible to join the network by filling in this form (in Lithuanian)

The Open Government Initiative Project (Project No. 10.1.2-ESFA-V-915-01-0001) is one of the projects implemented by the Office of the Government and coordinated by the Open Government Unit. The aim of the Project is to increase the availability of information on the activities of the Government and measures for public involvement, and to strengthen the competencies needed to increase the openness of public governance. The Project is funded by the European Social Fund.

E-Citizen is a space for a dialogue between the government and society. The portal:

  • provides citizens with the information they need to get involved in the government of the state (public consultations, petitions, applications and other queries to institutions, meetings with ministers, and other opportunities for cooperation);
  • provides all the necessary information for public sector organisations seeking to be open and inclusive (methodology on open public governance, public consultation, and other methodological tools);
  • publishes information related to open governance, from theory and presentations to news and topicalities. 

Citizens’ Ministry (Piliečių ministerija in Lithuanian) is communication channel of the Open Government Unit on social media platforms:

Here you can follow news about planned events, open government topics, open government initiatives, and other topicalities in the field.

Last updated: 05-01-2022