OGP in the Basque Country

Multistakeholder Forum

As established in different OGP[1]reference documents,“Members of the multistakeholder forum jointly establish its remit, membership and governance (frequency of meetings, who sets the agenda, how decisions are made, how conflicts are managed, the level of detail of minutes and decision-making authority). These are published on the national OGP website or webpage”;

The process to create the Multistakeholder Forum from civil society involved different stages in the Basque Country that is summarised in the following diagram:

MULTISTAKEHOLDER FORUM - GOVERNANCE

The multistakeholder forum is an informal space structured and designed to maximize participation and cooperation between Basque public administration and non-organised and organised citizenry.

It seeks to generate space for dialogue and co-creation, guaranteeing the plurality of voices to design, implement and assess an action plan to give impetus to open government in the Basque Country.

The Multistakeholder Forum is made up on an equal basis of Basque authorities and representatives of the non-organised and organised citizenry..

 

The institutional representatives is made up as follows: 

  1. Basque Government. Full Member: Luis Petrikorena (Open Government Director). Alternate Member: Javier Bikandi (Director of Citizen Services and Innovation and Improvement of the Administration)
  2. Álava Provincial Council. Full Member:  Nekane Zeberio (Director of the Office of the Provincial Council Chairperson). Alternate Member: César Rodríguez (Transparency and Participation Technician)
  3. Bizkaia Provincial Council. Full Member: Maitane Leizaola (Behatokia General Manager). Alternate Member: Nerea Martiartu (Good Governance and Transparency General Manager)
  4. Gipuzkoa Provincial Council. Full Member: Miekl Pagola (Director of Citizen Engagement). Alternate Member: Goizeder Manotas (Director of Modernisation, Services and Systems for the Information Society)
  5. Bilbao City Council. Full Member: Gotzone Zaldunbide (Delegate Councillor for Citizen Services, Participation and Districts). Alternate Member: Amagoia Ibarrondo (Director of the Quality and Assessment Office)
  6. Donostia-San Sebastián City Council. Full Member: Manu Narvaez (Director of the Mayor's Office). Alternate Member: Mikel Esnal Arrizabaga (Head of the Support Unit to the Mayor's Office)
  7. Vitoria City Council. Full Member: Vale Tena (Advisor ) Alternate Member: Blanca Guinea (General Manager of the Mayor's Office)
  8. Eudel. Full Member: Roberto Cañon (Eudel Head of Organisation) Alternate Member:

 

Citizen participation has been established by means of an open invitation process, prior information and self-selection of individual and citizen entities that have expressed interest in participating, guided by the principle of stakeholder plurality and diversity that reflects the different citizen sensitivities and perspectives of the Basque Country. The citizen representatives resulting from this process are made up of the following individuals:

 

  1. Asociación Mestiza. Full Member: Ana Molina. Alternate Member:
  2. Bilbao Women's Council. Full Member: Maria Aranzazu Otaolea. Alternate Member:
  3. Councils of the Municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz. Full Member: Miren Fernandez de Landa. Alternate Member:
  4. Antxon Gallego
  5. Euskadiko Gazteriaren Kontseilua. Full Member: Maialen Olabe. Alternate Member:
  6. Innobasque-Basque Innovation Agency. Full Member: Gotzon Bernaola. Alternate Member: Goizalde Atxutegi
  7. Full Member: Eneko Agirre Alternate Member:
  8. Sareen Sarea. Full Member: Mikel Barturen. Alternate Member

And it has a Technical Secretariat: Koldobike Uriarte (Technical Manager of the Basque Country OGP project) and Goizalde Atxutegi (Public Innovation Project Manager at Innobasque)

The Multistakeholder Forum is ascribed, in the framework of the cooperation with the International Alliance for Open Government, as an informal participation space at the request of the Promoter Group of the Basque candidature, consisting of the Basque Government, the 3 Provincial Councils, the 3 City Councils of the provincial capitals and Innobasque-Basque Innovation Agency.

It does not have its own headquarters and sessions may be held anywhere of the territory of the Basque Autonomous Community, at the venues provided by the institutions making up the Multistakeholder Forum.

The functions of the Multistakeholder Forum are as follow:

  • Contribute to the co-design of the 2018-2020 two-year plan to drive open government in the Basque Country, which involves:
    • Situation diagnosis and identifying challenges faced
    • Identifying priorities to establish commitments to be included in the Action Plan
    • Formalising the 2018-2020 two-year plan (process, milestones, indicators, etc.)
  • Monitor the implementation process of the plan and propose improvements and corrections to the established commitments.
  • Collaborate with the assessment of compliance of the Plan commitments.
  • Contribute to the programming of the following 2020-2022 plan.
  • Receive recommendations and proposals on the design of the first plan, regarding the requirements to implement and to assess compliance of the commitments of the Plan.
  • Involve other stakeholders (open forum, groups per commitment) in OGP activities (face-to-face meetings, open consultations, monitoring and assessment processes, etc.)
  • Report on and be held accountable regarding its activity in an open and participative way.

The values and principles that make up the action of the members that are part of the Multistakeholder Forum and by which they have to abide:

  • Integrity: honesty and subjective disinterest
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Leadership and exemplarity
  • Working for the common goods, impartiality and objectivity
  • Public innovation
  • Learning and continuous improvement

Some aspects referring to the running of the forum are set out below:

Resignation

In the case of the Basque administrations, the resignation from the post will require the represented administration to identify the person to replace the outgoing member. In the case of citizen representation, the person to replace the outgoing member will be proposed by the current representatives in the Forum.

Chair

The Forum will be co-chaired by the representative of the Basque Government and a member chosen from among the citizen representatives, who shall hold the tie-breaking vote when adopting agreements. Should either or both be absent or ill, the Forum shall appoint the individual to chair the sessions, while representing the co-chair between administrations and the citizenry.

The co-chairs are currently Luis Petrikorena (The Lehendakaritza Open Government Director) and María Aranzazu Otaolea (Women’s Council – Bilbao).

The Chair of the Council, on their own initiative or at the request of its members, may request the participation in the sessions, on an ad hoc basis, of experts or people whose opinion should be heard on themes to be discussed, who shall attend and be heard to provide their expert view.

Frequency of the Meetings

The Multistakeholder Forum has to meet in ordinary session at least once a month during the co-creation process of the 2018-2020 Action Plan and quarterly during the implementation and assessment of the Plan, and in extraordinary session whenever necessary to exercise its functions, at the initiative of the Chair or when so requested by at least of a third of its members.

Effectiveness of the meetings

In order to ensure a truly collaborative forum:

  • Meetings will be structured in a streamlined and collaborative way
  • The necessary information will be available sufficiently ahead of the meeting so that they can be analysed and discussed with external stakeholders.
  • There will be an effective communication platform with an open mainstreaming and internal document repository.
  • Information materials will be prepared for new alternate members.
  • There will be a technical secretariat comprising the institutional technical manager appointed by the promoter group to the OGP and by the Innobasque project manager - civil society member promoter of the candidature -, who will act as liaison and point of contact between the members of the Multistakeholder Forum, as secretary of the work session and as coordinators of the technical and documentary management work.
    Currently Koldobike Uriarte (Basque Country OGP Technical Manager) and Goizalde Atxutegi (Innobasque Public Innovation Project Manager).

Convening the Forum

The Chair will convened the Forum at least five days in advance, except when circumstances occur that require it to be convened urgently, in which case the Forum it should be convened at least twenty-four hours in advance.

Constitution

The Forum will be duly constituted for the purposes of holding sessions if one of the Chairs, the Secretary, or their substitutes as applicable, and at least half of the institutional representatives and of the citizen representatives are present.

Linguistic rights

The people attending the meetings of the Council may use Basque and Spanish in the meetings, and both languages will be used for the notice of meetings, agendas, minutes and other documents.

Adoption of Agreements

Ordinarily, the collaborative work will seek for agreements to be adopted unanimously. Extraordinarily and when at least half of the members so request, the agreements shall be adopted with an absolute majority.

Expenses

The members of the Forum will not receive any remuneration for that status, but they will be paid, where applicable and with documentary proof, the expenses generated by attending the Council, pursuant to the Basque Government's regulations regarding service expenses