Transparent Poland – ‘Certification system for local government units’

This new pilot project within Transparent Poland framework was introduced in 2008. An appraisal of the district and municipality self-governments’ actions was carried out by external bodies. During this initiative 16 districts were examined and all but one were granted with a renewable certificate of ‘Przejrzysta Polska’ (the logo of the program is a blue diamond, which by now should be very well recognizable) for the period 2008-2010. Additionally, among 32 local governments from the PP-Forum phase a contest was organized for the friendliest Public Information Bulletin, which is an official web site that is required by the law, where all public information on a given community should be published.

 

 

Monitoring of the activity of Sofia city council and public register of the municipal property transactions

The project objectives are: Raising the level of transparency at Sofia Municipality and guaranteeing the public character of decision-making through development of a public register of the municipal property transactions and monitoring the activities, related to: economic policy and municipal property; municipal budget; urban planning, architecture and construction; ecology and land use.

Curbing corruption and promoting transparency in the work of municipal councils in Bulgaria

The project aimed at identifying corruption-generating practices in the work of local authorities. The project fulfillment included three stages: 1. an analysis of the Municipal Council documentation and the local newspapers; 2. a focus-group discussions with Municipal Councilors and community representatives for determining the target groups and spheres of competing interests; 3. social experiments in resolving typical cases in three of the selected municipals. As an outcome a Policy Paper and a Handbook comprising analytical material, suggestions for amending the Rules and Procedures of Municipal Councils’ functioning and for public feedback was developed.

Budget monitoring laboratory II

Continuation of the project ‘Budget monitoring laboratory’ implemented in the previous year. The overarching goals again were long-term and difficult to measure their outcome straight after the project. Projects objectives were:
• improving transparency of local government finances and enhancing citizens participation in budgetary process
• increasing the level of civic control over local authority activities
• enhancing information flow between citizens and local governments

The secrets of municipal property management

The project aimed at increasing the transparency in the work of the municipal administrations in the country through monitoring and analyses of the practices in the municipal property’s management process, privatization, restitution and public procurement. Some of the main project activities include: 1. development and dissemination of information brochures on the topics: “Citizens and local authority – administrative service”” and “”The poverty – national problem connected with corruption””; 2. nomination and price award for the best anti-corruption innovation practice in local government based on the conducted analyses; 3. realization of practical seminars for citizens and experts from the municipalities; 4. regular press conferences presenting the accumulated information.”

Secret client – development of mechanisms for better accessibility to information, transparency and accountability of the municipal administration

The major goal of the project was to develop mechanisms for better information accessibility, transparency and accountability of the municipal administration. The project foresee the incorporation of these mechanisms at targeted municipalities. Those mechanisms that work well were then multiplied and disseminated to other local administrations. In particular, the initiative included: 1. analyses of best practices with regard to transparency and accountability within different local administration in EU countries; 2. analyses of the current deficiencies in the targeted municipalities in the country; 3. development of specific recommendations and a “technical guideline for municipal transparency””. 4. dissemination of the results to other municipal administrations in the country.”

Transparent District (pilot)

The project was a pilot for the larger project Transparent Poland (’Przejrzysta Polska’). The goal of this first stage was to elaborate, in cooperation with 16 local governments, a model of tasks, which these governments were to implement in order to attain project objectives. The model was later to be scaled up in the following stage, i.e. the massive action. The project set forth six rules, which should be present in the functioning of public offices and officials at the local level. Those were: transparency, citizens participation, no toleration for corruption, professionalism, predictability and accountability. Within the program the participating governments had to fulfill certain solutions/tasks which were related to each of these six rules, e.g. elaboration an ethical code of conduct for public officials and members of local councils, creating a road map of local initiatives, elaborating materials that in an accessible way explain the role and creation of budgets and community’s strategy etc.

Budget monitoring laboratory I

This project aimed at enhancing long-term transparency of public life in local districts and municipalities through improving citizens’ knowledge about and ability to monitor local budgets. Transparency was to be ensured by requiring local offices to provide information understandable to a regular citizen about each phase of the budgetary process (elaboration, implementation, evaluation). This in turn was to, in the long-term, encourage citizens to inform themselves about creation of the future budgets and participate in decision making pertaining to budgetary decisions (application of social consultations, which would be mandatory for the localities). The project also emphasized utilization of good practices like elaboration and making use of multi-annual budgetary frameworks, which would inform a current year budget planning, or having experts to revise budget projects.

Education without corruption

The project aimed to initiate a dialogue between state authorities, academic institutions and civic organizations with the purpose to create basis for fighting corrupt practices in the secondary and higher education in Bulgaria. Some of its main activities included: 1. Publication of a collection of articles outlining the objectives of the project; 2. Four public round table discussions; 3. Discussion forum in Culture newspaper.

Town Hall Bulletins without Censorship

A survey of over 500 volumes of town halls bulletins issued by over the 100 town halls in the Czech Republic was implemented; the aim of the survey was to identify important features such a bulletin should contain to fulfil the conditions of the free access to information, information on public funds spending and balanced reporting. It revealed only about 26% of the bulletins allowed for critical opinions to be published, the censorship was widespread and the political parties in the local governments used the bulletins for their own PR. The project outputs involved: detailed survey, analysis identifying rights and obligations related to publishing town hall bulletins and recommendations for improvements of legal regulations; codex of balanced town hall bulletin and ten basic rules for its publishing and a leaflet for the citizens “Apply your rights”.

Anti-Corruption Education

Training project with the goal of reducing the scope of corruption in the public administration in the territorial self-governing units (municipalities and regions); it aimed at increasing the capacity of local government officials in detecting individual cases of corruption, applying suitable anti-corruption tools to cases of corruption, evaluating the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in local government authorities and training on law on conflict of interest by tailored trainings.

The non-governmental center for public information access

This is a project with a large territorial scope, encompassing some 400 districts and municipalities. The main goal is to raise the awareness about exercising one’s right to public information. The project intended to show citizens how they can demand such data from uncooperative public offices. Within the framework of the undertaking not only individuals were instructed but also civil society organizations were trained in order to be able later to provide support to citizens. The project also intended to both gather information about cases of information refusals and systematize those instances to be able to draw more general conclusions on the matter. Finally, the public opinion was to be informed about the observance of regulation on the public information access.

Elections before Elections

The aim of the project: To train citizens and civil society organizations to carry out evaluation of the results of elected representatives work and currently ruling local authorities in selected municipalities, and based on that enable the citizens to make decisions at local elections which is scheduled in October 2008.
The primary purpose of the project is to deepen the positive influences that GROZD campaign made resulted in changing attitudes and behaviors of citizens and organizations of civil society in terms of need for their greater involvement in overall political and social processes in community and society in 2006 and 2007 and to make elected representatives most responsible for the problems citizens face with at the local level.
Direct project beneficiaries were the citizens gathered in local GROZD organizations in 30 selected local communities (Goražde, Rudo, Foca, Doboj, Livno, Tomislavgrad, G. Vakuf, Jablanica, B. Petrovac, B. Krupa, Prijedor, Jajce, Ključ, Velika Kladuša, Trebinje, Gacko, Kalesija, Travnik, Konjic, Visoko, Kakanj, N.Grad-Sarajevo, Bugojno, Sekovici, Zavidovici, Breza, Ilidza, Kalinovik, Modriča and D. Vakuf), as well as representatives of other NGOs, local formal and non-formal organizations and citizens groups which are interested in. During the year, 30 advocacy campaigns were organized, including informative and media campaign (project and goals were presented by 8 radio stations in Bosnia-Herzegovina) with aim to organize a pressure on candidates forcing them to include a way of solving key problems of citizens in their political program under local agenda.

I have the right to know! – a survey of access to information in Latvia

The grantee investigated how FOI law was applied in practice, by making requests for information to around 200 state and municipal organizations. The results of the survey were compiled in a report which was made available to the press and discussed at a number of public forums. The survey was carried out by ten students under the supervision of a project manager.

Promotion of the principles of good governance and increased citizens’ participation in the decision-making process in the Republic of Croatia

The project was primarily aimed at strengthening citizens, local civil society organizations (CSO), neighborhood councils, national minorities’ councils and local officials, at improving the communication between them through education on the principles of good governance and rule of law, as well as on the possibilities of involving in the decision-making processes on local level.

Transparency within the communication of the cities and municipalities

A questionnaire survey of 250 town halls and municipal offices was carried out and meetings of representatives of municipal offices with the public, local experts and interest groups in three localities were organised, analyzing the way how the town halls communicate with the citizens. The conclusions of the debate were embodied into recommednations for the town halls on how to improve the communication. The results of the project contributed to the creation of a Communication Manual for Local Municipalities that is available online at www.komunikujici-mesto.cz.

The school of watchdog initiatives I

The goals of the project included:
• Empowering citizens and local civic organizations to watchdog local administration and public officials as well as raise awareness about citizens’ right to information;
• Developing the Local Civic Groups network and creating common working standards;
• Empowering and encouraging already existing initiatives through local interventions aiming at developing cooperation among CSOs and enhancing their awareness of each other;
• Deepening learning interactions between local CSOs and other informal civic groups in order to share experiences and interesting practices.

Local Community Strengthening in the Municipality of Goražde

The basic objective of the project is to give support to direct and indirect beneficiaries in increasing their technical and institutional capacities for more effective inclusion in major decision-making processes at local level as well as for the establishment of inter-sectoral cooperation in areas of common interest and responsibility. The basic strategy of the project for achieving these goals was a program of education (training) and technical assistance that is designed based on previously established real needs for additional training of project beneficiaries in certain areas of their regular activities (competency, mission).
The project is designed so that its main (direct) beneficiaries have the chance not only to acquire new knowledge and skills on selected topics, but also to provide opportunity for new knowledge to be practically applied through participation in concrete actions and activities related to the establishment of inter- sectoral cooperation and participation of citizens in the budget process.
Thanks to CPCD project activities and constant encouragement of local communities, NGOs, business associations, municipal departments to gather themselves first and then work together, a new atmosphere was created in relations between these sectors. Cooperation has been accepted as the benefits that brings new challenges and successes to everyone, as a process in which all of them work together for the general welfare.

Publicity and transparency in the work of the administration, governance and public spending of the municipal council of the Sopot municipality

The project aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability of the work of the municipality of the city of Sopot by improving the partnership between the structures of the civil society and the local authorities. The project activities included: 1. assessment of the transparency and accountability in the work of the municipal administration; 2. evaluation and development of recommendations regarding the transparency in the work of the municipal council; 3. development and realization of a web based portal for dissemination of information regarding the activities of the municipal administration for improving the access to information for citizens and the business.