This month, the Australian government released its first National Action Plan under the Open Government Partnership.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is 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.
The Open Government Partnership formally launched on September 20, 2011, when the 8 founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration, and announced their country action plans. Since 2011, OGP has welcomed the commitment of 67 additional governments to join the Partnership.
Membership of the OGP requires governments to work with civil society to transparently and publicly ‘co-create’ a National Action Plan every two years, with independent reporting on its progress.
Australia first expressed its intention to join the OGP in May 2013, and formally joined as a member in November 2015.
Australia’s National Action Plan focuses on five broad themes:
- transparency and accountability in business;
- open data and digital transformation;
- access to government information;
- integrity in the public sector; and
- public participation and engagement.
Within these five broad themes, Australia has outlined 15 commitments.
- Improve whistle-blower protection in the tax and corporate sectors.
- Beneficial ownership transparency.
- Extractive industries transparency.
- Combating corporate crime.
- Release high-value data sets and enable data-driven innovation.
- Build and maintain public trust to address concerns about data sharing and release.
- Digitally transform the delivery of government services.
- Information management and access laws for the 21st
- Understand the use of Freedom of Information.
- Improve the discoverability and accessibility of government data and information.
- Confidence in the electoral system and political parties.
- National Integrity Framework.
- Open contracting.
- Delivery of Australia’s Open Government National Action Plan.
- Enhance public participation in government decision making.
You can read PIAC’s submission here and the Open Government Partnership Civil Society Network’s initial comments on the plan here.