The National Action Plan has been drafted through consultation and collaboration between government, non-government organisations, the public and the private sector. Over the past year, the Government undertook a number of consultation activities.
Raising awareness: public meetings were held in four capital cities in late 2015 (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra) to raise awareness of Australia’s membership of the Open Government Partnership and the process to develop Australia’s first National Action Plan. Additional awareness raising activities were undertaken through social media, government websites, teleconferences and webinars, and email mailing lists. More needs to be done to continue lifting public awareness going forward.
Seeking ideas: a formal consultation process (using online and offline mechanisms,) ran from December 2015 to April 2016 to seek suggestions on potential commitments for the National Action Plan. The process was led by a specialist consultation and engagement consultancy (engage2). It included a formal submission process, teleconferences with stakeholders, and a workshop with over 60 participants in April 2016 to help prioritise potential commitments for the Plan. All timeframes for consultation and submissions were published online.
Drafting the National Action Plan: an Interim Working Group, comprising equal representation of government officials and non-government members, was established in August 2016 to provide input and help inform the drafting of the National Action Plan, building on earlier consultations. Non-government members of the working group were selected through an open expression of interest process. The Plan was released online for public consultation for approximately three weeks in November 2016, along with public meetings in five capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra) and an online webinar.
This engagement has helped shape the National Action Plan and the open government priorities for the next two years. More details about engagement are at Appendix A.