As part of the Open Government Partnership process each country must carry out a self-assessment against it’s National Action Plan, ahead of the independent review mechanism providing a view on that plan. The UK Government has now produced it’s self-assessment, and it is available linked below for comments. As the team from Cabinet Office explain:
Today, almost two years since the UK’s initial involvement and the official launch of the OGP in New York, we are publishing the self-assessment report on the UK National Action Plan, originally published in September 2011.
Back in the spring of 2011, the UK Government was one of the founding members of the OGP, sharing the excitement of being in at the start of a new global movement anddiscussing how best to shape it. Around the world, there were clear signs of a growing appetite for openness in government that had to be satisfied: we had to take action and be part of the movement or be left behind. We wanted the OGP to be a voluntary initiative, but participating countries had to demonstrate real commitment to change and make a difference. The national action plans are the living proof of governments’ desire to become more accountable to their citizens and in this way, earn their place in the partnership.
The first UK Action Plan was drafted in the very early days of the OGP, when we and our partners were still clarifying the scope of civil society engagement, implementation periods, reviewing mechanisms and so on. So much has happened since, and this report is an honest account of the UK’s performance to date and how much our agenda has evolved.
The consultation will remain open for two working weeks until 15 April. A final report will be published on 19 April. The Independent Reporting Mechanism will use this material to conduct their own review. Please read the report and post your comments. Although we anticipate that people may have different views, our commitment to listen and engage is genuine and it is this approach that has been guiding the ongoing work to develop the new national action plan, which we expect to publish at the end of October.
Three sections of the Self-Assessment are posted for comment using CrocDoc – which allows you to annotate each document with notes and feedback. The aim of allowing inviting feedback is to:
- Identify commitments that it will be important to keep in the next action plan;
- Provide the Independent Reporting Mechanism with a more exhaustive picture of our progress, to assist the experts that will develop the UK report.
View the documents on Gov.uk, or read the commentable versions below to share your thoughts:
Following on from an Open Data Manchester special session on ‘open data futures’, and an open civil society workshop on the OGP, Open Data and Open Government are on the agenda at the upcoming Future Everything conference and festival in Manchester, 21st – 22nd March.
The festival includes a panel discussion on the Open Government Partnership (Thursday 21st, 14:30), and a workshop exploring different visions of Open Government.
These sessions take place alongside a packed programme of related events, including a panel with UK Director of Transparency Paul Maltby on ‘The Politics of Open Data’, and sessions on smart cities, and open business.
To widen consultation on the UK’s updated OGP National Action Plan a workshop will be taking place in Manchester on 20th March, open to all civil society organisations and representatives, to come and input into the important Open Government Partnership process. The announcement to be found on the booking website is below.
The UK Government is working in collaboration with a network of civil society organisations to develop an open government plan with a set of concrete open government commitments.
We need your help to develop it further – telling us what’s missing, what works and what’s needed at a local level, and if/how you’d like to be involved in developing it in the coming months.
We want to invite you to a workshop on Wednesday, 20 March 2013, from 1400 to 1600, at Four Piccadilly Place to begin the conversation with you. Register to participate here.
The UK is a founding member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global effort to make governments better by promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance.
To become a member countries must endorse a high level Open Government Declaration and develop a National Action Plan setting out concrete commitments to open government. The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has committed to developing the UK’s next National Action Plan in partnership with civil society. As the current chair of the OGP, there is a spotlight on the UK as it develops its next set of commitments and an opportunity for civil society to work with government to ensure they are ambitious and respond to real world issues.
Progress so far
Work has already begun over the past five months on developing the action plan, with the Cabinet Office and a network of (mostly nationally and internationally focused) civil society organisations working together to develop a set of commitments. Together, these commitments will make government and other powerful institutions more transparent (including through opening up data), enable greater citizen participation in policymaking, improve the responsiveness of government, better public service delivery and enhance the accountability systems that, among other things, reveal and prevent corruption in public and private organisations.
We think we’ve come a long way over the past five months in developing a plan, in an open and transparent way, that’s ambitious and that’ll make a positive real world difference, in the UK and beyond. But we know that there are gaps in what we’ve developed and still much more work to be done to make the most of this opportunity.
What we’re offering/asking for
That’s where you come in. We want to extend the network of organisations and people involved in developing the plan, and get the benefits of your knowledge and experience of what works and what is needed to open up government, particularly at a local level.
With this in mind, we’re holding a two-hour workshop, linked to the FutureEverything conference, to begin a conversation on the following points:
- Tell us what’s missing from the draft action plan and what works and what’s needed at a local level
- Share with us examples of government being opened up in the north west
- Discuss how we might best involve you and other local level organisations in developing the action plan over the next six months
Your thoughts and suggestions will be recorded and used as we continue to develop the plan. We cannot promise that we’ll be able to develop commitments around everything you suggest, but we can promise to include you in an ongoing conversation about what’s possible and report back to you on progress.
We hope that you’ll be able to join us.
Ilaria Miller (Cabinet Office Transparency Team) and Tim Hughes (Involve, and coordinator of the UK open government civil society network)
This months Stanford Social Innovation Review includes a supplement about the Open Government Partnership. The articles provide a concise overview of the history of the OGP, activities taking place in a number of countries, and some of the opportunities and challenges for the partnership coming up. The articles include an overview of the origins of the partnership, and an interview with Francis Maude and UK Civil Society Network coordinator Simon Burall
Back in September when the UK became lead co-chair of the Open Government Partnership they released a draft ‘co-chair vision‘.
We started by gathering comments on the strategy through an online document, and through the recent Open Policy Making process with the OGP team from Cabinet Office, have input into a revised co-chair vision published for this week’s OGP Steering Committee meeting in London.
Compare the draft and the new version and you will see the impact of civil society input, leading to a vision that emphasises:
- That transparency and participation drive economic growth, well-being and prosperity through efficient use of resources, citizen engagement and inclusive development
- Applying the principles of openness and transparency to ensure accountability across the public, private and voluntary sectors
- Supporting an open discussion of barriers to achieving the benefits of open government, and the actions that government and civil society can take to overcome these.
- Establishing, with the support of our civil society partners, the OGP networking mechanisms into the foremost knowledge exchange on open government.
- Stimulating the development of relevant links and new international and domestic partnerships, on cross-cutting themes, such as data standards, smart cities, data portals and community budget pilots.
- Promoting engagement by a more diverse group of civil society organisations at both international and national levels in order to both expand ownership by citizens and promote greater accountability, and working with civil society to achieve this.
- Working in partnership with the UK civil society, and global civil society partners, to organise the 2013 OGP plenary meeting in London.
Not everything civil society suggested made it into the vision, but through the Open Policy Making process we were able to identify many more opportunities for change and to discuss substantive points – rather than the process being one of just consultation and comment.
This is just a first step in ongoing discussions – and continued comments and feedback are welcome.
This network met today (11th October) at the Free Word Centre, London to explore a broad agenda of open government issues, and work towards a shared vision for open government priorities.
The meeting split into two parts. The morning consisted of an introduction to, and updates on, the OGP process, with input from Charlotte Alldritt, representing Cabinet Office, followed by quick-fire presentations covering key open government issues, ideas and initiatives. The afternoon took the form of open space dialogue on key civil society priorities for the ongoing UK OGP process.
You can find a Prezi presentation that steps through much of the morning content here, and most of the presentations were backed up by short one-page briefings, which are available for download here. We hope to add video clips of the presentations here soon.
You can also find a Storify bringing together tweets and other links here..
The afternoon discussions are currently being written up by group rapporteurs and will be shared on the network mailing list soon.
Today, the UK Government took on the role as lead co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, alongside the other co-chairs – the government of Indonesia, and the International Budget Partnership.
To co-incide, the Government has published a list of four priorities for it’s time as lead co-chair. These can be found in full on the Cabinet Office website and the Cabinet Office are inviting feedback via Twitter to @uktransparency.
We have also put a commentable copy online where you can add your comments and reflections on the document, ahead of the Civil Society Network meeting on 11th October where civil society will be developing a response, and a civil society vision for the UK as a leader in the OGP process.
Add your comments on the UK vision here.
Please register to join us for a full network meeting on the 11th October in London.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global effort to make governments better by promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance. The UK government was a founder member of the OGP and is currently co-chair of the initiative. This provides the UK with a unique opportunity to demonstrate its leadership on key open government topics. Civil society participation is integral to the OGP, which is jointly governed at an international level by both governments and civil society organisations.
This meeting is a chance to find out what the OGP could mean for open government in the UK and across the world, and to explore civil society perspectives on how the UK should use it’s current global leadership role within the Open Government Partnership.
Online registration is available here.
The meeting will:
- Introduce the Open Government Partnership and provide an update on recent developments in the UK and beyond;
- Build shared understanding of the OGP, and the particular issues UK-based civil society would like to see it address;
- Put together a draft UK OGP Civil Society Network Strategy for the next 12 months
Who is it for?
Anyone from civil society who is involved in promoting any aspect of open government, understood broadly as: increasing the availability of information on government activities; supporting civic participation; implementing high standards of professional integrity in government and increasing use of new technologies for openness and accountability. Representatives of organisations working on open government issues are particularly welcome.
The morning will provide a chance to hear about OGP and share updates with colleagues. The afternoon will involve focussed work on developing a shared strategy.
Where can I find out more
A full brief of the event, including outline agenda is available here.
You can find out more about the Open Government Partnership on the global website. The OGP blog provides a flavour of some of the key topics being explored across the world.
To find out more about the emerging Civil Society network, see http://www.opengovernment.org.uk
To inform the work of the UK Open Government Partnership Civil Society Network we have put together a short online survey.
This survey is targeted to organisations involved, or interested in becoming involved in the network.
Survey responses are invited by Wednesday 5th September 2012, although the survey will remain open until mid-September for additional views to be fed into the work of the network.
You can complete the survey here.
With the 2013 Open Government Partnership plenary now pencilled in for October 2013 in London, it might seem like the OGP calendar is a little sparse, but there are quite a few events and activities coming up. Drawing on recent conversations with Cabinet Office, and wider OGP calendars, here’s a quick overview of some upcoming events and milestones.
(If you know any more detail on the events below, or any other events that should be on this timeline, please add a comment below and we’ll update this post)
31st August: The UK Government should have produced a draft of their Co-Chair strategy for OGP.
September: The UK Government timeline shows a possible ‘challenge event’ focussed on ensuring ‘the UK strategy has the right level of ambition’.
18th September: UK and global civil society, and UK Cabinet Office representatives are taking place in the Open Government track at this years Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki.
26th September: The UK Government will participate in an OGP 1st Anniversary event in the fringes of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. The UK OGP Co-Chair Strategy is expected to be delivered at this event.
4th and 5th October: OGP Europe: Dubrovnic Conference – Jointly convened jointly by the Government of Croatia and Croatian civil society organisations, in cooperation with the United Kingdom Cabinet Office as OGP co-chair, and with the support of the European Union Project of Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organizations (TACSO). Register by 3rd September 2012.
17th October: UK Co-Chair Event in London hosted by Reform and Cabinet Office under the working title ‘The Future is Open’. To include ministerial participation. Some details on Reform Website (see also past Reform paper called ‘The Future is Open’). International steering Committee meeting at the same time.
An updated draft ‘green paper style’ National Action Plan may be published at time point, setting out proposals for future open government/transparency commitments.
13th November: ‘Open Up’ summit hosted by UK Government (DFID), Omidyar network and Wired Magazine focussing on technology and development.
November 2012 – February 2013: Some form of consultation on the draft National Action Plan is anticipated. Details tbc.
March: UK Co-chair event. A high profile Ministerial Level OGP Steering Comittee Meeting where new OGP participant countries to submit their country actions plans.
The UK’s updated National Action Plan for 2013 – 2015 is expected to be published at this point.
October: International plenary meeting in London