In democratic governments, citizens need to consider themselves able to take part in public decisions and to feel represented in their institutions. A policy is public when it integrates the various sectors of society in its planning, execution and verification. Therefore, a reliable government needs the collaboration of reliable citizens. This annex describes a concept called integral citizen observatories (ICOs). Its purpose is to set the guidelines to establish this document as an effective tool for citizen participation. This is consistent with the customer/citizen focus of this document.
ICOs identify, define and document the needs of citizens in order to strengthen their participation in, and the transparency and accountability of, local government. It facilitates collaboration between customers/citizens and their local government by generating comments and proposals on and solutions to public issues with a common language: the diagnostic system presented in Annex A.
In principle, ICOs defend the public interest by generating reliable information based on hard data about the performance of local authorities. They are organized according to the 39 indicators of Annex A and work by measuring and verifying the performance of local governments from the perspective of society. Figure C.1 shows the proposed structure.