OGP: reporting progress

New Zealand has now prepared three Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (NAP)s since the government’s initial commitment to this international initiative in 2014. We are one of approx 100 countries that prepare two-yearly NAPs, each of which is independently reviewed and internationally reported on. 

Within each country, the OGP aims to bring together government, civil society, and citizens to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable.

Second OGP National Action Plan 2016-18

The OGP Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) End of Term report on New Zealand’s second NAP 2016-2018 was recently published. 

Although this report reflects high commitment completion, change in government practice stood as marginal overall. Notably, the government’s early efforts to improve access to legislation could provide major efficiencies for lawyers and the public. In future action plans, the government could fully reform the Official Information Act and add open government performance to public sector chief executives’ contracts and to the new well-being indicators.”

It is disappointing to see that Transparency International New Zealand was the only organisation or person to comment on this IRM’s report.

The IRM is conducted by a local reviewer, Keitha Booth, appointed by the International office of the OGP. It is the IRM’s role to take an independent look at how well the Government is doing at achieving the commitments it adopted for its NAP.

TINZ is watching the public’s reaction to OGP reporting with interest. The purpose of Open Government is to engage the wider public. It’s hard to believe that the wider public is totally disinterested in what the government does. It is also hard to fathom that everyone is satisfied. The IRM reports provide ways of ensuring that commitments achieve in practice what is/was promised.

Third OGP National Action Plan 2018-20

State Services Commission (SSC) has published the initial progress reports from the government lead agencies for each of the 12 Commitments that constitute New Zealand’s third OGP NAP which covers 2018-20.

Publication of these reports coincides with international Open Government Week 11-17 March 2019 which provides “A global call to action to transform the way governments serve their citizens. … Open government doers, leaders, and thinkers from around the world are invited to share ideas, discuss solutions, and commit to new levels of citizen participation in government

Meanwhile the IRM local reviewer, Keitha Booth, has submitted the first cut of the IRM Design report on the third NAP 2018-2020. SSC will advertise the opportunity for public consultation, before its final publication around June this year. 

Future participation

The OGP schedule of activities allows very short consulting periods. These consulting periods are required to be the same for all countries and allow little flexibility for public holidays and other local activities. We encourage everyone to keep an eye out for advertised opportunities to provide feedback and otherwise participate.

A key component of the Open Government Partnership is involvement from all sectors and citizens. We encourage you to promote the OGP to your networks and encourage everyone to get involved in the process.

Transparency International New Zealand, PO Box 10123, The Terrace Wellington, 6143 New Zealand admin@transparency.org.nz. Copyright © Transparency International New Zealand 2009 - 2019.
Website design and marketing from effectiveemarketing.com