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5.1 - Delivery of Australia’s Open Government National Action Plan

Objective and description:

Australia will ensure that our Open Government National Action Plan is a platform for ongoing dialogue, collaboration and open government reform.

We will do this by establishing a permanent dialogue mechanism with civil society, which includes a multi stakeholder forum and transparent reporting and accountability mechanisms.

The multi-stakeholder forum will at a minimum track the implementation of commitments, ensure commitments continue to be relevant and ambitious, inform the drafting of future National Action Plans and raise awareness about open government in the broader community.

Status Quo:

OGP countries are required to establish a multi-stakeholder forum to consult with the public and organisations outside of government on the implementation of the commitments included in their National Action Plan. Detailed guidance on establishing a multi-stakeholder forum is outlined in the OGP’s handbook.

OGP countries have taken different approaches to establishing their multi-stakeholder forum. Some models adopted in other countries include:

  • Civil society network: Coalition of non-government organisations and individuals.

  • Single forum: Convenes government, the public and organisations outside of government in one formally established, central committee for co-ordination.

  • Hub-and-spoke: Network of smaller forums (broken down by sector, thematic area or commitments etc.), which may be coordinated by a central committee.

The Government will work in partnership with civil society to determine the structure, role, governance and membership of the OGP multi stakeholder forum. It will also include reporting and accountability mechanisms, and procedures around decision-making. The Interim Working Group will continue as an oversight body for the implementation of this National Action Plan until the permanent multi-stakeholder forum is established.

Membership of the forum will need to be broad given the diverse interests in open government. Stakeholders have noted through the public consultation that the existing Interim Working Group does not have representation from local government, the disability sector, privacy sector, Indigenous community, and industry/business groups. The forum will also need to facilitate broader engagement with the general public.

It is also important that Australia’s commitments remain relevant and ambitious throughout the National Action Plan cycle. This will be achieved through ongoing review of milestones, with updates made (as necessary) in partnership with civil society. The Government will also work with the public to identify any additional commitments that could be included in the National Action Plan over the two year cycle.

Ambition:

To identify, develop and implement ambitious open government commitments through ongoing partnership with civil society. This will include transparent reporting on progress of implementing commitments in this National Action Plan.

Relevance:

This commitment will advance the OGP values of public participation and accountability by:

  • ensuring commitments remain relevant and ambitious throughout the National Action Plan cycle;

  • keeping government accountable for the implementation of National Action Plan commitments;

  • raising awareness about the Open Government Partnership and open government matters in Australia and the region; and

  • ensuring participation by a broad and diverse range of organisations and the public in the development of National Action Plan commitments.

OGP Grand Challenge: 

All Grand Challenges addressed

Timeframes:

December 2016 – July 2018

Lead agency:

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (ogp@pmc.gov.au)

Other actors involved: 

  • Government - All Commonwealth entities

  • Non-government - Non-government organisations (including Australian Open Government Civil Society Network),private sector, peak bodies (including Law Council of Australia) and the public

Milestones:

  • Establish the OGP multi stakeholder forum by partnering with civil society to determine its structure, role, governance and membership, including reporting and accountability mechanisms for this National Action Plan.

    • December 2016 - March 2017

  • Operation of the multi-stakeholder forum, with (at a minimum) the following responsibilities:

    • inform the co-creation of future National Action Plans;

    • track and report on implementation of National Action Plan commitments;

    • facilitate broader community engagement and conduct awareness activities that foster informed participation, including face-to-face meetings and events; and

    • document decisions and publish reports.

      • Early 2017 - July 2018 (ongoing)

  • Review the National Action Plan and update milestones and commitments (as necessary) to provide further clarity and ambition for plan.

    • December 2016- July 2018