Meeting notes 16th April 2018

2016-18 Open Government Action Plan implementation meeting | 9 April 2018 | Meeting note

by Andreas Pavlou

On 9 April 2018, members of the OGN’s steering committee and government commitment leads met to review the implementation of the 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan and the UK OGP process. This note of the meeting was produced by the Cabinet Office. You can read the commitment updates here: https://www.opengovernment.org.uk/resource/2016-18-open-government-action-plan-april-2018-commitment-progress-updates/


Attendees

Thom Townsend, DCMS
Katie Holder, DCMS
Alice Moore, GDS
Prateek Buch, DCMS
Joanna Wing, BEIS
Wasim Akhtar, Cabinet Office
Tim Adams, LGA
Tim Hughes, Involve
Andreas Pavlou, Involve/UK Open Government Civil Society Network
Gavin Freeguard, Institute for Government (IfG)
Rachel Davies Teka, Transparency International UK

 

Discussion of the latest updates from the current National Action Plan

Commitment 1: Beneficial ownership

In January this year, the Government confirmed it intends to publish the draft Bill this summer. Noted that the Government will miss original deadline as set out in the National Action Plan of April 2018 to introduce legislation on this commitment.

Commitment 2: Natural resource transparency

Noted that UK listed extractive companies have begun to publish payments to governments data under the EU transparency amending directive in an open and accessible format.

Commitment 3: Anti-corruption strategy

Noted that focus should now look at the implementation of the Anti-corruption strategy.

Commitment 4: Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub

No further update.

Commitment 5: Open contracting

There was a request for more information on implementing proprietary identifiers:

All notices published on Contracts Finder now have identifiers for the Buyer organisations based on their system registration which is published GOV.UK. We have are adding identifiers linked to the Registers collection on GOV.UK (https://registers.cloudapps.digital/registers) starting with Local Authorities. When publishing awards Buyers can now add details of UK Companies House and UK charity registers.The identifiers are available in OCDS format, further details can be found on our Open Contracting page. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-contracting). Use of non-proprietary identifiers took longer than expected to implement.

There was also a query about compliance to transparency requirements for contract publication:

It is the responsibility of the contracting authority to meet the transparency requirements to publish on Contracts Finder. Crown Commercial Service supports publication by providing policy advice and guidance in the form of Procurement Policy Notes. In addition, CCS has a strategy in place to monitor compliance with the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to publish opportunities and awards on Contracts Finder. Spot checks are undertaken to identify where authorities have failed to publish information. Where these are identified, they are raised informally with the authority concerned at an operational level and, usually, the issues impacting on publication are identified and resolved with the support of CCS. As a result, we have noted a significant increase in the number of notices published on Contracts Finder over the last 12 months, reducing gaps in compliance.

Commitment 6: Grants data

Update requested on whether the plan is to release data for all remaining central government departments, and if any any barriers or delays. Government lead confirmed that the Cabinet Office Grants team is working with all departments to increase their awards level data. The team is planning to publish the grants data in the autumn. However, they will not know whether individual departments are in a position to approve the publication of their awards data until later this year.

Also noted close, positive relationship between 360giving and Government leads, which we should strive to replicate in other areas.

Commitment 7: Elections data

Noted that one election management system supplier has committed to implementing the new election data standard into their system at their own cost.

Commitment 8: Freedom of Information

Clarification requested on the timeline. Government confirmed its expectation to publish the response to the public consultation and lay the revised Code before Summer recess. Acknowledged that this will miss the original deadline set out by Government in the National Action Plan.

Commitment 9: Identifying and publishing core data assets

No further update

Commitment 10: Involving data users in shaping the future of open data

No further update

Commitment 11: Better use of data assets

No further update

Commitment 12: GOV.UK

No further update

Commitment 13: Ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform

Noted that Government leads and Steering committee members attending an Open Government Event in Scotland on April 10 to discuss working together across the UK’s Devolved Administrations, local government and civil society.

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