News 12th May 2016

The Open Government Manifesto & the UK Open Government Action Plan – what’s in, what’s not & what’s new?

by Tim Hughes

Tim is coordinator of the UK Open Government Network.

Back in October, the Open Government Network published our Open Government Manifesto – a crowdsourced collection of draft commitments for the UK’s 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan.  So what’s in the action plan, what’s not & what’s new?

The table below shows how commitments from the action plan relate to proposals from the Open Government Manifesto.  A rough-and-ready analysis shows that:

  • Progress has been made towards ten of the OGN’s proposals.  A few of these do not go as far as the OGN proposed, so we will continue to work with the government to strengthen them in this or future action plans.
  • A further ten proposals are under discussion and we hope to see commitments made on them in the near future.  The next opportunity for adding commitments will be the end of June, when we hope to see commitments from each of the devolved nations added as well.
  • There are six proposals where there has not yet been progress towards commitments.  The OGN will continue to challenge the government to make reforms in these areas.
  • There are two proposals that the OGN itself has chosen to de-prioritise.  Members of the OGN are seeking alternative routes to achieve the intended outcomes.
  • There are four new commitments that were identified during the co-creation process with government.

Get involved in helping to champion, develop and implement these commitments by becoming a member of the Open Government Network: http://forum.opengovernment.org.uk/groups/opengovuk

OGN proposal Related commitment
1. Implement & update the anti-corruption plan Commitment 3: Anti-Corruption Strategy
2. Strengthen natural resource transparency Commitment 2: Natural resource transparency
3. Extend beneficial ownership disclosure Commitment 1: Beneficial ownership
4. Increase lobbying transparency Under discussion
5. Improve consultation practice Commitment 12: GOV.UK
6. Open policy making pilot projects Under discussion
7. Lead on transparency, public participation and accountability in the budget process
8. Increase the transparency and accountability of tax incentives/reliefs
9. Fully adopt the Open Contracting Principles and data standards Commitment 5: Open contracting
10. Introduce a public contracting disclosure baseline Commitment 5: Open contracting
11. Promote public participation in contracting Under discussion
12. Implement the UK’s National Information Infrastructure Commitment 9: Identifying and publishing core data assets
13. Involve data users in shaping the future of open data Commitment 10: Involving data users in shaping the future of open data
14. Make full use of data assets Commitment 11: Better use of data assets
15. Ensure the open and timely publication of government research Under discussion
16. Provide a single point of contact for public requests for evidence De-prioritised by the OGN
17. Make the use of evidence in policy formulation and evaluation transparent Under discussion
18. Promote comprehensive freedom of information rules Commitment 8: Enhanced transparency requirements and revised Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice
19. Ensure the integrity, usability and sustainability of government information Under discussion
20. Establish an Open Local Government Partnership De-prioritised by the OGN
21. Include local governance and engagement frameworks as part of devolution deals
22. Make all parliamentary data freely available Under discussion
23. Increase citizen involvement in the legislative process Under discussion
24. Enshrine Parliamentary Openness Under discussion
25. Open up the court system to public scrutiny Under discussion
26. Publish departmental data release registers
27. Introduce citizen centric data usage reports
28. Increase the transparency of surveillance
New commitment Commitment 4: Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub
New commitment Commitment 6: Grants data
New commitment Commitment 7: Elections data
New commitment Commitment 13: Ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform
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