UK GOVERNMENT ‘UNDER REVIEW’ SAYS OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP
78 country Open Government Partnership places UK government ‘under review.’
UK government twice fails to properly deliver transparency plans.
Organisations co-sign letter expressing ‘concern.’
The Open Government Partnership [OGP] of 78 countries representing some 2 billion people has placed the UK government ‘under review’ for failing to properly deliver a plan for transparent, participatory, inclusive and accountable governance.
In a letter to Minister Julia Lopez, Sandjay Pradhan, CEO of the OGP details the UK government’s failure to produce a plan to the required standards for a second consecutive time. As a result, and despite being one of the eight founding member countries of the Open Government Partnership in 2011, the United Kingdom has been placed ‘under review.’
Civil society organisations have reacted with ‘concern’ to this news in a further letter to the minister co-signed by the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland open government networks, alongside some 25 organisations, including: Transparency International UK, Full Fact, the Open Data Institute, Electoral Reform Society, and Open Contracting Partnership.
The letter urges the Minister to state a personal commitment to ‘championing a UK open government agenda’ and developing a new ‘ambitious action plan’ that meets the criteria as set out by the OGP.
Kevin Keith, Chair of the Open Government Network, said:
“The UK government’s reputation for openness and accountability is in freefall.”
“Ten years ago, it was a founder of the Open Government Partnership. Countries all over the world looked to the UK for leadership on how a government should open up its business to the public, let them hold it to account, and involve them in important decisions.”
“Now, that same Partnership has placed the UK government ‘under review.”
“This is shameful. It shows how far we have fallen in a decade and is symptomatic of wider problems such as the unlawful failure to publish contracts awarded during the pandemic and accusations from publishers, newspaper editors and civil society organisations about the blacklisting of journalists and the obstruction of Freedom of Information.”
“At a time when trust and the adherence to rules has never been more important, as we hold the G7 presidency and get set to host the D10 group of leading democracies and the COP26 climate talks, it is vital ministers step up and demonstrate they care about the fundamentals of a strong democracy.”