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Round Table „Open Government Partnership“ held in Zagreb

The round table „Open Government Partnership“ was held on Wednesday 14th of September 2011 in Zagreb, organized by the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs and the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Croatia. The purpose of the round table was to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Croatian participation in the new global initiative „Open Government Partnership“.

 „Open Government Partnership“ initiative brings together representatives from governments, civil society and private sector in a joint effort to ensure concrete progress in the field of transparency and openness of governments, inclusion and empowerment of citizens and civil society, fight against corruption and application of new technologies in improving the quality of services provided to the citizens by public administration.
The highest state officials, including the President of the Republic of Croatia Mr. Ivo Josipović, the President of Croatian Parliament Mr. Luka Bebić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Mr. Gordan Jandroković, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia Mr. James Foley and the Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Croatia Mr. Paul Vandoren attended the introductory part of the round table.
As a participant in this initiative, Croatia needs to meet the requirements of openness on four key areas: the fields of fiscal transparency, access to information, public declarations of assets of the state officials and citizens' involvement in decision-making processes.
Since Republic of Croatia has satisfied these requirements and has also officially expressed interest in joining this initiative, this round table represents the beginning of a broad public debate which will continue during the development of the national action plan.
During the panel discussion that followed many prominent speakers took the floor: the Director of the Institute of Public Finance Ms. Katarina Ott, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Mr. Zdravko Marić, the Member of the Executive Board of GONG Ms. Jelena Berković, the Head of the Personal Data Protection Agency Ms. Dubravka Bevandić, the Board Member of Transparency International Hrvatska Mr. Zorislav Antun Petrović, the Head of Sector for fight against corruption in the Ministry of Justice Mr. Davor Dubravica, the Director of Cenzura Plus Ms. Željana Buntić Pejaković, the Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs Mr. Igor Vidačak, the Director of Mrak service Mr. Marko Rakar and DeputyS  tate Secretary of the Central State Office for e-Croatia Mr. Tomislav Vračić.
It was concluded that there is a considerable scope for improving the existing practices. As a good practice example the election of external members of parliamentary committees was highlighted, as well as the adoption of the Code of Practice on Consultations with the Interested Public in Procedures of Adopting and Implementing Laws, Other Regulations and Administrative Acts.
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