Annual policy report

2021 annual report: The Fog of Governance. How Romania fails in using big data for modern policy processes

In Romania, the public administration produces valuable data, but it is lost because no one collects it to monitor and improve public policy processes. For example, during the pandemic, the police applied sanctions, but we do not know exactly to whom and for what, because there was no interest in keeping a detailed record. This is just one example of a missed opportunity, among many others, which demonstrates the need to change the internal logic of the institutions in order to generate useful information, not only for the public but especially for internal management. Without it, no e-government system designed outside the public administration will ever work.

In order to document in detail such a sectoral policy, EFOR carried out an experiment to request public information on sanctions applied on the basis of FOIA (Law no. 544/2001) from the Police, in all the counties of the country, then to contest in court the incomplete answers received. Our conclusions are worrying: administrative practice is not at all unitary and court decisions are almost random. In addition, the Parliament’s non-action continues to favor uncertainty and wastes time and resources of judiciary system. See details in Chapter two of this report.

Finally, the last section deals with the financing of parties and electoral campaigns, which is a topic of endless controversy all over the world. The problem in Romania is that we still do not have a monitoring system with open data at the appropriate standard and we have been struggling for years with Excel files and scanned pdfs. There is sufficient time until 2024 to introduce the open data standard, but only if we get to work right away.

Read the full report here:

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Chapter 2 (doc)

Chapter 3 (doc)

For more information about political financing visit


Report published within a project funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), implemented by Expert Forum in partnership with CEELI Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

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