As a member of the Open Government Partnership, every two years the UK government in collaboration with civil society must develop an open government national action plan, setting out specific, measurable and time bound commitments.
The OGP’s guidance states:
“OGP participating countries will co-create a National Action Plan (NAP) with civil society. Action plans should cover a two-year period and consist of a set of commitments that advance transparency, accountability, participation and/or technological innovation…
Action plans should be clear, succinct, and action-oriented, approximately 8-12 pages in length and written in plain language with minimal use of jargon or technical terms. All countries participating in the Open Government Partnership are asked to follow a common template for their OGP Action Plans…
Each participating country must develop an OGP National Action Plan (NAP) through a multi-stakeholder, open, and participatory process.”
So far, the UK has developed and implemented two action plans (2011-13 & 2013-15), and is in the process of developing its third (2016-18).
The implementation of a National Action Plan takes place over two years and is monitored and reported in three ways:
The OGP’s requirements state:
“Countries are to identify a forum to enable regular multi-stakeholder consultation on OGP implementation—this can be an existing entity or a new one. Having a platform for permanent dialogue can help build trust and understanding and provide a forum to exchange expertise and monitor progress…
During the two-year action plan cycle, governments are required to submit two annual Self-Assessment Reports to assess the government’s performance in living up to its OGP commitments in its action plan. The Self-Assessment Report should provide an honest evaluation of government performance in implementing its OGP commitments, based on the timelines and benchmarks included in the country’s OGP action plan…
The OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) delivers biannual reports for each OGP participating country. These progress reports assess countries on the development and implementation of their OGP action plans and offer technical recommendations to help improve future action plans. The IRM is a key means by which all stakeholders can track progress and results within participating countries. All participating governments are therefore required to participate in the IRM’s reporting procedures and cooperate with the IRM local researchers to provide information.”
So far, the UK government has produced two self assessment reports and the IRM has produced one progress report (with a second due to be published in Summer 2015).
The UK’s 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan is currently being developed by government and civil society through an open and collaborative process.
The UK Open Government Network has been crowdsourcing ideas for commitments to form an Open Government Manifesto.
Via an online platform and a series of workshops around the country, 79 ideas for reforms were identified, which have been developed and condensed into 28 proposals for OGP commitments.
Over the preceding 12 months, the plan had been developed in partnership by the UK Government and UK Open Government Network. This process was developed with the intention that it should itself model the principles of open government, being transparent and participatory, and benefitting from the expertise and energy of government and civil society.
The 2013-15 Action Plan contained a total of 21 commitments.
|No.||Commitment||Find out more|
|Open data: radically opening up government data for greater accountability, public service improvement and economic growth|
|1||The UK government will continue to develop and list an inventory of all the datasets it owns, whether published or unpublished, in order to identify the National Information Infrastructure (NII) – the datasets which are likely to have the broadest and most significant economic and social impact if made available. The identification of the NII will facilitate discussions to prioritise the release of these datasets.||National Information Infrastructure >>|
|2||NHS England will work with governments and civil society organisations internationally to create an online space to share experiences of embedding high quality standards into information, with a view to building an accreditation scheme to enable citizens and organisations to assess their progress.||Health information standards >>|
|3||The UK government will issue a Local Authorities Data Transparency Code requiring local authorities to publish key information and data. This will place more power into citizens’ hands and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services.||Local Authority Transparency Code >>|
|4||By 2015, the UK aims to be the most transparent social investment market in the Open Government Partnership and G20, in line with the Open Data Charter principles.||Social investment >>|
|5||The UK government will manage and capture digital records and there will be a comprehensive, accessible and timely paper and digital record of UK government available to the citizen.||Digital records >>|
|Government integrity: fighting corruption and strengthening democracy through transparent government|
|6||The UK government will, for the first time, bring together all of the UK’s anti-corruption efforts under one cross-government anti-corruption plan.||Anti-corruption >>|
|7||The UK government will lead by example by creating a publicly accessible central registry of company beneficial ownership information. The registry will contain information about who ultimately owns and controls UK companies.||Beneficial ownership >>|
|8||The UK government will establish by 1 January 2014 a high level working group to ensure greater transparency and accessibility of police records in England and Wales. The group will explore the range of options for achieving this, including bringing police force records under legislative control, by adding police forces to the Public Records Act 1958, alongside other options that may not require legislation. The working group will report with a clear proposal and action plan by 30 June 2014.||Police records >>|
|9||The UK government will promote the principles of transparency and accountability in all government-funded construction projects in the domestic and international arenas, including, in the period up until 2015: working with others in government and civil society to identify suitable projects for the application of the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) in the UK; using its bilateral and multilateral relationships to encourage the establishment of at least four new national CoST programmes in countries where DFID is working||Construction transparency >>|
|10||The UK government will: promptly publish all new primary and secondary legislation on legislation.gov.uk; bring the revised versions of primary legislation on legislation.gov.uk up to date by the end of 2015 and keep them up to date subsequently; make legislative data available in an open and accessible format to allow people to re-use content under terms of the UK’s Open Government Licence||Legislation >>|
|11||The UK government is committed to ensuring a strong legislative framework to encourage workers to speak up about wrongdoing, risk or malpractice without fear of reprisal.||Whistleblowing >>|
|Fiscal transparency: helping citizens to follow the money|
|12||The UK government endorses the principles of open contracting. We will build on the existing foundation of transparency in procurement and contracting and, in consultation with civil society organisations and other stakeholders, we will look at ways to enhance the scope, breadth and usability of published contractual data.||Open contracting >>|
|13||The Scottish government broadly endorses the principles of ‘open contracting’ and commits to work with civil society and wider stakeholder groups to improve transparency in its procurement practices as part of our continuing programme of procurement reform.||Open contracting Scotland >>|
|14||The UK government will show leadership in transforming the transparency of global development assistance by publishing information on official development assistance (ODA) in line with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard, so that UK assistance can be tracked through the delivery chain.||Aid transparency >>|
|Empowering citizens: transforming the relationship between citizens and governments|
|15||NHS England will be improving the quality and breadth of information available to citizens to support them to participate more fully in both their own health care and in the quality and design of health services which will result in greater accountability of NHS England.||Better information about health and care >>|
|16||The UK government will demonstrate the potential of open policy making by running at least five ‘test and demonstrate projects’ across different policy areas. These will inform how open policy making can be deployed across the civil service.||Open Policy Making >>|
|17||The UK government will identify innovative and effective ways to engage the public in policy involving complex scientific and technological innovation through the Sciencewise Programme.||Sciencewise >>|
|18||The UK government will publish legislation in a draft format on GOV.UK whenever appropriate, in order to enable and promote public involvement and engagement in proposed changes to the law.||Draft legislation >>|
|19||The UK government will ensure the OpenDataCommunities programme continues to free up DCLG’s evidence-base from literally thousands of disconnected spreadsheets, so that it can be quickly and easily discovered, combined and re-used over the web alongside related third party sources.||OpenDataCommunities >>|
|20||The UK government will transpose into UK law and implement European legislation on the re-use of public sector information early, delivering the obligation on public sector bodies to make their information available for re-use.||Public Sector Information directive >>|
|Natural resources transparency: ensuring natural resources and extractive revenues are used for public benefit|
|21||The UK government will implement and internationally champion a global standard of financial transparency and accountability in the extractive industries (oil, gas and mining) on the part of governments and companies, in line with the principles in the G8 Open Data Charter.||Extractives >>|
The UK Government has published its mid-term self assessment of progress against the 2013-15 Action Plan. It reports 27 (32%) milestones being completed, 30 (36%) on track, 23 (27%) behind schedule, and 4 (5%) closed.
Along with the other founding members of OGP, the UK Government developed its first national action plan from July through September 2011. The plan was submitted at the launch of the OGP in New York in September 2011.
The UK published its self assessment of progress against the 2011-13 Action Plan in April 2013.
The Independent Reporting Mechanism published its review of the Government’s progress in November 2013.