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Ministerial Foreword

As the Minister responsible for co-ordinating Australia’s involvement in the Open Government Partnership on behalf of the Prime Minister, I am proud to release Australia’s first ever Open Government National Action Plan.

The Australian Government understands the importance in a democracy of open government to a strong and fair society. Open government also fundamentally supports the Government’s goal for Australia to become a more agile, innovative and collaborative nation. That is why one of the Prime Minister’s first acts was confirming Australia’s commitment to the Open Government Partnership and starting the process of preparing our first National Action Plan.

This National Action Plan promises ambitious action across a broad spectrum of important areas for government.

The Plan commits to:

  • more transparency and accountability in business, including better legislative protections for whistle blowers that report misconduct in the tax and corporate sectors;
  • better access to government-held information and data, with release of high value datasets and reforms to our information access laws;
  • strengthening our national integrity and anti corruption framework;
  • undertaking a Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into political donations and other electoral matters; and
  • improving the way the Commonwealth engages with the public on policy development, service delivery and decision-making.

These commitments complement and build upon the considerable action the Government has already undertaken, particularly in promoting open data and digital transformation of government.

Australia already starts from a high base, and this Plan is an opportunity for the Government and civil society to work together to build upon Australia’s long tradition of openness and transparency.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the development of this Plan and in particular, the members of the Interim Working Group.

The launch of this National Action Plan represents the start of the process of delivering more open government. The Government recognises it must keep lifting the bar to ensure we meet the high expectations of Australians, who rightly expect Australia to be a leader in promoting transparency, integrity and public engagement, and to be at the forefront of technological innovation.

Open, transparent and accountable government will always be a cornerstone of Australia’s democracy. The Government is committed to strengthening our approach to open government into the future, in partnership with civil society.

 Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann

 Minister for Finance