MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Ministries and federal services will test their openness to the public by January 15, Russian Minister for Open Government Mikhail Abyzov said an interview to the newspaper Izvestia on Thursday.
The concept of government bodies' openness was due to be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Thursday.
According to Abyzov, the experts who had been drawing and coordinating the document for almost a year, determined three positions to judge the openness of government bodies by.
"First, disclosure of information about legislative initiatives and the ministry's expenditure. Second, the officials' work should be more focused: for example the Energy Ministry should specifically reach out to fuel companies and consumer rights organizations, while the Public Health Ministry - to doctors and patients. The third task is to ensure the operation of effective instruments of public control. Public councils set up by government bodies are among these instruments. Their Version 2.0 is already being developed. "The work to "reset" the public councils has begun," the minister said.
Abyzov underlined that "even in this century of information technologies, it is not possible to secure monitoring of government without real interaction, discussion and compromise."
To make government bodies work openly, "there are government resolutions demanding a public discussion of regulatory enactments with quality analysis of the results of this discussion. They should take into considerations the public's recommendations; this system has been launched at all agencies without exceptions," he went on.
This standard describes mechanisms of openness such as independent anticorruption expert examination, expert support of initiatives, new principles to handle citizens' request and public presentation of the ministries' objectives until 2018.
"Of course, citizens must understand all this. Public declaration is one of the methods proposed by experts. The head of a ministry selects five to seven priority public commitments, outlines the expected results and regularly gives an account to the public," the minister said. "The list of initiatives not subject to public discussion is quite limited."
It has been 18 months since the Open Government began its work, Abyzov said, " but it has just transferred from forming the ideology of Open Government to practice."
"The ministries must be given the opportunity to test their openness on the basis of the criteria set by the standard. They must do it before January 15 and publish the results. Their self-analysis will make groundwork for plans towards implementing the concept," Abyzov noted.