Photo: Government of the RNM
The second public debate on the Draft Strategy on Transparency 2023-2026, organized by the Policy and Good Governance Cabinet of the Government in cooperation with the Metamorphosis Foundation, took place in Veles.
The Vice President of the Government in charge of Policy and Good Governance, Slavica Grkovska, addressed the participants of the debate with a quote of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan: “If corruption is a disease, transparency is an essential part of its treatment”.
With this, she illustrated the importance of transparency, as a good governance principle, in dealing with the devastating corruption occurrences in society.
“Strengthening transparency in all the levels of the system is one of the most important prerequisites for prevention of corruption and for improving the overall environment of the institutions that, by embedding and consistently applying this principle, become more accountable and more efficient in executing their function as a service to the citizens”, stressed Grkovska.
She spoke about the fact that the transparency of the institutions has significantly improved in the last few years which is due to the commitment to establish mechanisms, pass appropriate legislation, and develop and implement policies. That, according to Grkovska, resulted in strengthening fiscal discipline by opening the treasury, thereby enabling public oversight of expenditure, but also by opening the institutions for the public and enabling easier access to information.
Danche Danilovska-Bajdevska, Program Director in the Metamorphosis Foundation, said that for almost two decades the Foundation has been raising awareness and building the capacity of the citizens and the civic society so that they will be able to fully take over the role of democracy activists, supporting the authorities in fulfilling their democratic role in working in favor of the society.
“Seven years in a row, Metamorphosis has been implementing research through the Openness Index and suggesting that in a large number of cases, the presence of relevant policies on openness did not contribute much to increasing the openness and transparency of all executive government institutions. Lack of a strategic approach towards openness of the state was identified”, said Danche Danilovska-Bajdevska.
Therefore, in such a manner, Metamorphosis is securing an inclusive process for all stakeholders to determine the strategic approach to transparent operation of institutions. This document is committed to establishing a culture of transparent operation of the institutions and to blocking the influence of functionaries on the transparency of the institutions themselves.
Otherwise, North Macedonia is one of the rare countries that develop strategic documents such as the Transparency Strategy. Further steps are directed towards maintaining openness without detracting from the accomplished results so far. The institutions lagging behind should reach the level of those that have advanced most, in terms of transparency.
According to Irena Bojadzievska, the expert who worked on this Strategy, good governance practices and Open Government should become a benchmark in the day-to-day operation.
The Transparency Strategy 2023-2026 and the accompanying Action Plan were subject of the second public debate, with participants from state institutions, civic organizations and the media. The documents provide for a strategic approach that should significantly raise awareness, but also the proactive approach in this field.