What is Irekia?
Irekia is the embryo of the development of Open Government in the Basque Country which is embodied in a tool, a good government practice focused on transparency, participation and collaboration. We like to call it an open window for citizen participation.
Irekia is a direct communication channel between the public and the Administration which, online and using a non-administrative language, applies
the three main pillars of Open Government:
The Administration makes information and figures available in real time on its activity, actions, decisions, plans and intentions.
The Government policies, laws, decrees or measures are discussed, assessed and rounded off with the opinions of the general public. But interested persons can also put forward their own proposals, ideas or queries to be discussed and analysed.
The Basque Government collaborates with the public, companies and the other Basque authorities by providing innovative tools and new collaborative work methods. The Government listens to them and they work together to build a more connected society.
The Open Government Directorate, answering to the General Secretary of the Premier's Office, is tasked with coordinating this tool. However, Irekia reflects the work of all the people who hold public responsibilities in the Basque Government and their dependent entities. The portal was unveiled and opened on 25 January 2010.
How does Irekia work?
Irekia does not seek to be a news portal. However, you will find here information about your Government. The reason for this is transparency, the first cornerstone of an open government. We aim to feature news about the Basque Government, upcoming events, audiovisual material and cuttings library. The goal is to consolidate the relationship with the public as all the website news items can be discussed and disseminated through social networks.
Participation and collaboration
Irekia has two participation and collaboration areas:
- Government proposals: designed for the public to contribute their comments and doubts regarding the proposals, draft legislation or initiatives that the Government departments publish to gather input.
- Grassroots proposals: this is where the users can put forward their own proposals regarding the issues that they consider to be of interest.
Irekia is also driving citizen participation through other social networks that foster discussion on cross-cutting issues and facilitate the involvement of everyone, whether they are companies, other institutions, administrations, collectives, etc.
The contributions are currently analysed and forwarded to the people of the Government with responsibilities or competences in each area to bring them to their attention. Those ideas that can be used by the Government are then included in the material of the working parties that prepare, design and produce different government legislative proposals, measures and initiatives. And the aim is for, at some time, those grassroots contributions to become part of the legislation, plans, decrees or initiatives of the Government.
Why did Irekia emerge?
Irekia seeks to reinforce its window open to participation as the public have things that they want to say to their Government. It adopts the principles and challenge of Open Government, a new way of relating that establishes a series of communication channels and direct contact between the public and the Administration, that to the new utilities that Internet now offers.
The CreativeCommonsBy licence is the one chosen to provide legal coverage to this open government principle which enables the public to have access to the flow of information, multimedia and audiovisual material that is generated here. The licence allows its free use for any purpose provide that you cite the source and author.
Social networks and monitoring their activity
Social networks are one of the scenarios where the opinions and comments on the activity of the Government and the topics worrying the public are developed with increasingly greater assiduity. Therefore, the activity of the Government itself and the measures or legislation driven are disseminated through the main social measures.
The conversation that is generated in the social networks is also gathered by the Government and incorporated into the different government proposals to enhance them. The Government believes it important to listen to what the public are saying, wherever they are saying it, and it is clear that numerous relevant conversations for the action of the Government are generated in the social networks, in the same way as in other blogs, websites, forums and media.
Irekia Open Data - The Irekia source code
Right from the start, the software used to develop the Irekia website was released under the name of OpenIrekia and was made available to the public, companies, organisations and, of course, other institutions and public administrations. It is thus a further example of collaboration as it can be reused freely and free-of-charge so the public administrations that wish to develop this type of project will avoid having to make further economic investments of public money to develop sites such as Irekia.
In keeping with this commitment of openness and collaboration, the Basque Government makes it available through this link: the source code
Open Data Euskadi
The Open Data Euskadi was also launched within the Open Government policy. This is the result of the Basque Government's commitment to making the public data in its possession available in such a way that it can be reused by third parties to create derivative services.
The data set is therefore available in reusable formats, under open licences that enable its redistribution, reuse and use for commercial purposes. Link: www.opendata.euskadi.net