Monday, August 22, 2011

Eight governments, led by US, form an international Open Government Partnership - should Australia be involved?

I've just learnt about the Open Government Partnership (OGP) a global effort to "make governments better" through encouraging and supporting more transparent, effective and accountable governments.

Launched under the oversight of a multi-stakeholder International Steering Committee including representatives of eight governments and nine civil society representatives, and initially co-chaired by Brazil and the USA, the OGP has broad ambitions to promote open government around the globe.

The OGP has already launched a networking mechanism to "help participating governments identify and connect with one another (peer to peer) and other relevant expertise and service providers (NGO and private sector) as they develop their OGP commitments and action plans. This mechanism is a partnership of Global Integrity and the World Bank Institute."

The OGP will formally launch in New York City on September 20 this year when the governments on the steering committee will embrace an Open Government Declaration, announce their country action plans to promote OGP principles, and welcome the commitment of additional countries to join the Partnership.

I wonder if Australia will take this opportunity to become involved.

Australia is already listed as being eligible (DOC), due to our activities in the open government area and meeting the other eligibility criteria (DOC).

The process for actually joining (DOC) is reasonably simple, although there are some actions the Australian Government would need to take to participate in the formal launch in September 2011 and to meet the March 2012 Open Government Action Plan

So which governments and organisations are already involved?

The US government, together with the governments of Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa and the United Kingdom, and leading civil society representatives, Africa Center for Open Governance (Kenya), Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (Brazil), Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (Mexico), International Budget Partnership (Intl), MKSS (India), National Security Archives (US), Revenue Watch Institute (Intl), Transparency and Accountability Initiative (Intl), Twaweza (Tanzania).

An interesting group, and one that Australia has much to learn from and share with.


  1. Wouldn't it be good to see this level of commitment from the Australian government?

    I'm reasonably certain it's there among the doers - people in and around the public sector working on activities related to open government. However, I doubt there's the political will present (too many other distractions in our various parliaments), nor enough desire at the top of the public sector here (at any level or governmetn) to make this happen.

    Still, we can hope.

  2. I hear the Dutch Home Office is investigating the initiative.