Rabat - During a forum organized by the Moroccan Association of Electronic Governance for Development (AMGED) in cooperation with the National School of Computer Science and System Analysis (ENSIAS) held yesterday in Rabat, within a framework of reshaping the Moroccan government’s relationship with its citizens, public and private sector participants agreed to engage in a bottom up and top down communication with Moroccans by adopting an open government policy.
Rabat – During a forum organized by the Moroccan Association of Electronic Governance for Development (AMGED) in cooperation with the National School of Computer Science and System Analysis (ENSIAS) held yesterday in Rabat, within a framework of reshaping the Moroccan government’s relationship with its citizens, public and private sector participants agreed to engage in a bottom up and top down communication with Moroccans by adopting an open government policy.
Modeled after President Obama’s Open Government Directive in 2009, Morocco officially adopted a commitment toward increasing transparency among public/private institutions, universities, and journalists. Morocco’s commitment is reflected in the 2011 Constitution whose Article 27 provides for “the right of access to information for public administrative bodies, elected institutions, and bodies investing in a mission of public service.” Open government is a central aspect of the commitment based on values of transparency, collaboration, citizens’ engagement and participation.
“Another aspect that reflects Morocco’s commitment to openness in government is the provision of an open budget and the 2006-2007 declaration of assets, in addition to Morocco’s national strategy to eradicate corruption and the inclusion of civil society by establishing a ministry in charge of civil society,” said Mohammed Moubdi, the Minister Delegate to the head of government in charge of public service and the modernization of administration.
“Open government will urge Morocco to enhance its plans and attract foreign investment… This project will contribute to scientific research in Morocco,” he added.
Many countries have adopted the US model, and Morocco ranks 40th worldwide, 4th in Africa, and 2nd in the MENA region in terms of budget transparency. In the light of international experiences, especially those of France, the World Bank, and the UK, Morocco has recognized the importance of open governments to develop an ecosystem, eradicate corruption, reconciliate and re-establish trust between Moroccan citizens and their government. In the same context, the Commission of Personal Data Protection confirmed that talking about open government is appropriate] in Morocco since it protects personal data according to the law 09-08 issued on February 18, 2009,regarding the protection of people’s personal data.
Moroccan institutions and decision makers should embrace a culture of sharing data and sharing success stories in order to create models to follow in the future. Sharing is the new trend that marks the modern generation and sharing at higher levels will reflect harmony among average people who have the right to question where their money goes.
Thus, “Open Data is the bulk of the new generation of human rights and it has been constitutionalized in order to ensure its legitimacy and equal access to information. It will contribute to the economic growth and upgrading in national engineering. However, this initiative might face democratic and strategic challenges in terms of guaranteeing individual freedoms and protection from spying, pirating, national security, and personal data,” added the secretary general of the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council, Mr. Guerraoui Driss.
Open Government is a double-edged sword that will improve the effectiveness of the government on the one hand and on the other raise awareness among Moroccans of what their government is doing.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers
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