Open Government Partnership and Australia’s National Action Plan 2016

Open Government Partnership and Australia’s National Action Plan 2016 Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC

Open Government Partnership and Australia’s National Action Plan 2016
Mitchell, Emily.
Publication Date:
31 Mar 2016
Publication Type:

The Australian Government has committed to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Since its launch in 2011, 69 governments have joined the OGP, making over 2,250 commitments to make their governments more open and accountable. 

Australia committed to join the OGP in 2013, and began  consultations surrounding the development of a National Action Plan in November 2015. 

Australia committed to work towards two key issues in its National Action Plan: 

  • Improving Public Services – measures that address the full spectrum of citizen services including health, education, criminal justice, water, electricity, telecommunications, and any other relevant service areas by fostering public service improvement or private sector innovation; and
  • More Effectively Managing Public Resources – measures that address budgets, procurement, natural resources, and foreign assistance.

In this submission to the consultation, PIAC identified a range of issues that engaged with the core principles of the OGP – transparency, accountability, participation, technology and innovation.

PIAC provided 20 recommendations to the consultation, addressing measures to increase transparency and accountability in information access; enhancing proactive disclosure across all levels of government with a focus on PIAC’s casework and policy experience in criminal justice, energy and water; and improving public services via increased participation and consultation with Indigenous people, including introducing national justice targets and formalising the importance of participation and consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

Key recommendations included that the Commonwealth:

  • Restore funding to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC);
  • Remove restrictions on the use of Commonwealth funding by community legal centres to engage in law reform activities relevant to their casework; 
  • Expedite the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT);
  • Commit to setting justice targets through the COAG framework for Closing the Gap.

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