Table of Contents

  • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been committed to support the democratic transition of Tunisia from its start, assisting its leadership and people as they strive to build a prosperous and inclusive society. This report is part of this endeavour and draws upon the experience of OECD member countries and on more than 20 years of work of the OECD Secretariat and its Public Governance Committee in the area of Open Government policies.

  • Tunisia has embarked on a journey from dictatorship to democracy entailing a profound cultural transformation, as exemplified by its new Constitution. Open Government reforms have a central role in this transition. They can help build trust between citizens and the Tunisian government and effectively promote inclusive and sustainable social and economic development. Effective citizens’ participation in policy-making, integrity, and transparency have all indeed proven to favour more effective policy making to respond to the needs of citizens and business.

  • This OECD Open Government Review of Tunisia is the result of Tunisia’s request for OECD support in assessing its current Open Government policies and practices, and identifying opportunities for reform that would allow it to qualify to become a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), develop the required OGP Action Plan, and hence ensure its implementation and follow-up. This report addresses five issues: the role of the centre of government in steering and co-ordinating Open Government reforms, citizens’ engagement, budget transparency, integrity and fight against corruption, and use of ICTs to support Open Government. It is complemented by a case study on Open Government reforms at a local level

  • The Arab Spring, which started in Tunisia in 2010, was propelled by widespread discontent with the current socio-economic conditions and the lack, or at times absence of basic rights and freedoms. The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in the Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid, which sparked the Tunisian Revolution, powerfully testified to the reasons behind this discontent: poverty, widespread corruption among the economic elite and politicians, and lack of respect for human dignity and democratic rights. The velocity with which the Tunisian revolution spread across the entire MENA region revealed the presence of these problems throughout the whole Arab world.

  • The centre of government (CoG) plays a key role in coordinating the implementation of Open Government. It is responsible for setting a vision, developing a strategy and implementing Open Government policies across levels of government. This chapter analyses Tunisia’s CoG and its ability to achieve Tunisia’s Open Government objectives. It suggests to reinforce the CoG for Open Government and to better exercise its leadership in this very timely period marked by the historic approval of the 2014 Constitution. The chapter identifies a set of recommendations to strengthen open government in Tunisia, which include the identification of Open Government advocates, the development of a detailed open government national strategy and implementation plan and the promotion of Open Government initiatives at the local level, which should be accompanied by an integrated communication strategy.

  • Civic engagement is a crucial aspect of Open Government. The chapter firstly outlines the OECD approach to citizens’ participation, as it was developed in more than 10 years of work in this field. It then provides an overview of the current Tunisian policies and practices to involve citizens and business in policymaking and service delivery, along with a review of the provisions contained in the new constitution. As key aspects to citizen’s engagement, the chapter analyses the legal and implementation frameworks of Tunisia’s access to information law and the existing public consultation practices in light of the available human and financial resources. Finally, the opportunities offered by a more consistent and strategic use of ICTs to promote participation are highlighted, especially considering the clear request that comes from citizens and civil society organisations to better exploit the potentiality offered by internet and social media. A set of recommendations to implement a comprehensive reform establishing truly inclusive policy-making are provided.

  • This chapter focuses on why transparent public financial management, especially on budget related issues, is a crucial parameter for Open Government and how it can support the development of a climate of trust for citizens and businesses. Tunisia’s financial transparency is assessed in comparison with OECD principles and good practices. An analysis of Tunisia budget reports and budget preparation cycle shows elements in which Tunisia conforms to international standards, where recent progress in implementing policies on financial transparency was made, and which challenges still remain. The role that ICTs can play for fiscal transparency is then illustrated. The chapter ends with a set of recommendations in the areas of budget reporting, disclosure and accounting standards, control and accountability as well as reforms management.

  • Integrity and anti-corruption policies are closely linked with Open Government principles and practices, as transparency and openness are powerful anti-corruption tools. This chapter explores the various components of Tunisia’s integrity system, with a particular focus on their impact and the contribution that citizens can make to their effective deployment. Tunisia’s policies and institutional arrangements are benchmarked against OECD integrity principles and examples are provided based on OECD countries’ good practices highlighting the functioning of public sector and civil society institutions to fight corruption. The chapter closes with ad hoc recommendations on how to consolidate the transparency and integrity of Tunisia’s public administration.

  • This chapter explores Tunisia’s current e-government strategy and practices and how they support the use of ICTs as a tool to implement Open Government reforms. The effectiveness of the strategy, the role played by the diverse actors involved in its implementation and the key legal and policy frameworks are also analysed vis-a-vis the challenges that poverty, illiteracy, and gender inequality pose to the widespread use of ICTs for inclusive citizens’ participation and Open Government. The chapter equally examines the capacities of Tunisian public servants to fully exploit the potential of ICTs and e-government and addresses the current approach to opening up government data for the use by national and international public and private sectors. A set of recommendations provides Tunisia with ideas how to further benefit from a more strategic use of ICTs and social media for Open Government.