In April 2012 representatives from 55 governments and hundreds of delegates from civil society gathered in Brazilia for the second annual meeting of the Open Government Partnership.
The Open Government Partnership is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee of governments and civil society organisations.
Each signatory country presents a National Action Plan, with list of commitments that it will be expected to fulfil in the following year. This is the list of the top ten commitments presented by countries in Brazilia.
At the 2012 annual meeting, the UK took on the co-chairing of the OGP for the next year. ORG has joined with other civil society organisations to form a coalition that will engage with the government to ensure that it fulfils its obligations and delivers on its commitments.
Our initial civil society analysis of the UK National Action Plan, can be found here. It was produced with contributions from Article 19, Campaign for Freedom of Information, Christian Aid, Global Witness, ONE, Open Rights Group, Publish What You Fund, Tiri and Transparency International UK.
These are the main issues we found:
The UK government must improve its engagement with civil society including wider consultation and clear mechanisms for collaborative design and progress monitoring of the national action plan.
The current national commitments are too focused on open data, information technology and public services and should be expanded to cover a comprehensive model of open governance.
Internationally, the UK is a global leader on aid transparency. However, the UK must now address the transparency of natural resource revenues and international corporate transparency more broadly.
The paper can be directly downloaded here:
We have helped create a common web space for UK organisations at OpenGovernment.org.uk and we will be posting much of our work there as well as in our site.