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TACSO by Civic Initiatives: Action Plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP) presented in Subotica

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Subotica, 27th March, 2017 – In the Blue Room of City Hall in Subotica an informative meeting was held dedicated to the presentation of the Action Plan for the implementation of the initiative Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the Republic of Serbia for 2016 and 2017. 

The meeting was attended by representatives of associations of citizens of Subotica and its surroundings, as well as employees in local government. Present were greeted by Marija Ušumović Davčik, head of the city government in Subotica. 
Dragana Brajević from the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government presented an initiative Open Government Partnership Action Plan of the Republic of Serbia for the period 2016-2017 and pointed out that the state should be oriented towards citizens and local governments may have their own local plans to improve openness and transparency. 

Danijela Božović from CRTA presented the activities of the Action Plan related to the promotion of proactive transparency and which involve innovations in the type and manner of publishing Information Bulletin of the work of local governments. She also said that people are mostly interested in information on the budget and public procurements, which have not been available in Information Bulletin of the local self-governments. 
Stanka Parać Damjanović from the Center for Local Democracy and Bojana Selaković in front of TACSO, Resource Center of Civic Initiatives, opened the discussion about the role of civil society organizations in monitoring the implementation of the measures from the Action Plan. 
The participants agreed on the importance of respecting the principle of the Partnership for Open Government at the local level and that it can be improved with the synergy and joint work of civil society organizations and local governments. "In addition to the joint monitoring of the implementation of the Action Plan, the organization and the local government should make use of the principles of the Partnership for Open Government for the general improvement of cooperation, especially in the areas of public participation in decision-making, transparency of local government and financial support for the civil sector" -concluded Selaković.  
Partnership for Open Government (POU) is an international initiative that promotes multilateral cooperation and seek for firm commitments of government institutions, the signatories of the initiative, to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight against corruption and the use of new technologies that the Government was more open, effective and accountable. 

The Republic of Serbia is participating in this initiative since 2012, which has pledged to respect the principles of open administration contained in the Declaration of the Partnership as follows: 
  1. Public participation - engaging citizens in policy-making;  
  2. The integrity of government - the fight against corruption and the strengthening of democratic institutions;
  3. Freedom of information - guaranteeing access to information that the government possesses; 
  4. Fiscal transparency - assistance for citizens in monitoring the spending of funds; 
  5. Public services - provide effective services to citizens; 
  6. Open Data - digitalization and open data;  
  7. Transparency in relation to the extraction of mineral and energy resources-ensuring that revenues are spent for the public good