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The principles of open government and participatory democracy are enshrined in Morocco’s 2011 Constitution, as well as in the 2015 laws regarding regionalisation. Implementing open government principles at the local level, where citizens first interact with the public administration, can help strengthen trust and ensure that policies and services better respond to society’s needs. In this context, the municipality of Salé is a pioneer, as it proactively engages its citizens in the affairs of the municipality and works towards the implementation of the principles enshrined in the 2015 laws.

Since 2012, the OECD has been working with countries to develop a governance structure for open government and international standards. Within the framework of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme, the government of Morocco, led by the Ministry of Reform of the Public Administration and Civil Service, and the OECD are working together to embed these principles in the public administration at national and local level. The municipality of Salé was chosen as a pilot city to implement open government principles at the local level.

This report, prepared at the request of the municipality, analyses the legal, institutional and policy frameworks of open government policies and practices in Salé, using as a baseline the 2017 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Open Government and good practices in OECD countries.

The municipality of Salé has created a culture of dialogue between public officials and the population, and a relationship with citizens and civil society based on trust. Building on this foundation, Salé should consider taking a more structured approach to open government by creating a dedicated office for open government and institutionalising its participatory mechanisms, including focusing on more marginalised groups. To do so, it could take advantage of the participatory practices foreseen in the framework of the ongoing regionalisation process.

This report encourages Morocco to further strengthen and implement open government initiatives at the local level and to share the existing good practices, such as those in Salé, with other municipalities. The culture of dialogue, which Salé builds its practices on, can be an inspiration for other local authorities.

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