Seeking public feedback on the Open Government Partnership results

Keitha Booth
Independent Review Mechanism Researcher
Open Government Partnership

Now is your chance to comment on the progress of New Zealand’s Open Government Partnership commitments. Provide your feedback here.

The New Zealand Open Government Partnership Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) is seeking public comment on the draft report about the level of completion and the results of New Zealand’s third National Action Plan. The draft suggests that major progress has been made on one commitment but “The remaining eleven commitments made only marginal or no progress in opening up government practice.” The two-week public comment period ends at the close of business on 24 February 2022.

The major highlight is improved online visibility of NZ Parliament’s proceedings, particularly since the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020.

The remaining eleven commitments made only marginal or no progress in opening up government practice. They include foundational work on algorithms and community engagement guidance, and ongoing work to increase public access to secondary legislation and Cabinet papers and to encourage more agencies to complete Official Information Act (OIA) responses.

The major lowlight is continued public concern about the consistency of OIA compliance, new legislation including secrecy clauses that override the OIA and uncertainty that the Official Information Act 1982 will be reviewed in this government’s term.

Additionally, while Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) procurement award notices are now released as open data, their details are inconsistent. The report cites TINZ’s 2021 analysis in “Better government procurement in 2021 that these mandated releases only represent just 2.5% of the total annual expenditure.

Work is still underway on three commitments: covering data stewardship practice, work assessing government service design and creating an authoritative dataset of government organisations as open data. The Youth Parliament, the School Leavers’ Toolkit and Archives NZ’s Monitoring Framework were completed or substantially completed.

The report (Transitional Results Report or TRR in OGP nomenclature) records that NZ did not meet the 2017 OGP Participation & Co-Co-creation Standards for Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) membership, selection process and openness, and for cooperation with the IRM to promote the IRM’s Design Report in 2019.

It praises the EAP’s initiation of more interaction with and support for government officials during implementation. It sees the collaborative work in 2021 between the EAP, civil society, government officials, and the Minister for the Public Service to co-create a more ambitious 4th action plan as a very positive step for open government in NZ

Please review and comment on this report by 24 February.

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