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Civil Society Nominations Process for Australia's Second Open Government Forum

Background

Nominations were sought from individuals to fill seven civil society positions on Australia’s next Open Government Forum (OGF) to cover the period 2018-2020.

The OGF is a multi-stakeholder Forum composed of representatives from both government and civil society who work to promote the Open Government Partnership’s goals of transparency, accountability and public engagement with the Government across Australia.

The OGF is responsible for promoting these goals through the development and oversight of initiatives to help open up governments and make them more transparent and accountable to the citizens they serve. Further information on Australia’s National Action Plans, which contain these initiatives, can be found at the Open Government – Australia website.

OGF members are required to work collectively with other civil society and government Forum members to:

  • monitor the progress and implementation of Australia’s Second National Action Plan; 

  • help develop the next Open Government National Action Plan (2020-22); and

  • raise awareness with the public about open government.

Successful nominees are expected to be an active and engaged member of the Forum for a minimum of two years. They are also be required to attend OGF meetings on at least a quarterly basis, including travelling interstate where required (travel costs will be covered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet). 

These requirements are summarised in the OGF Terms of Reference, available here.

The nominations process

We sought nominations from members of the public who have an interest in open government, transparency, public engagement, open data, innovation and anti-corruption to fill positions on Australia’s OGF. 

Nominations were open for four weeks between 17 September to 12 October 2018. In total, 27 nominations were received and are published below. 

All nominations received were assessed by a selection panel comprising the then Co-Chairs of the Open Government Forum (Mr Barry Sterland, Deputy Secretary, the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Ms Fiona McLeod SC, Chair of the Accountability Round Table and Former President of the Law Council of Australia) and The Hon Murray Kellam AO as an additional eminent person, who made recommendations to Government on the appointment of Forum members.

The selection panel assessed applicants against the following selection criteria:

  • demonstrated support of OGP’s Mission and Strategy and the Open Government Declaration;

  • expertise relevant to the Open Government Partnership, including existing or probable future Australian Open Government commitments;

  • demonstrated ability to engage broad and diverse community networks;

  • previous experience working with and influencing government; and

  • the desirability of maintaining some continuity between successive Forums, balanced with the desirability of reaching new communities and reflecting emerging open government priorities.

Previous experience working on Open Government matters as well as working collaboratively with advisory bodies to help influence and shape government decision making was also highly valued.

The selection panel also considered the desirability to have a Forum made up of members that broadly reflect the diversity of the Australian community. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Young Australians and Residents from non-metropolitan regions throughout Australia were particularly encouraged to apply. 

Outcome

The Government decided it would benefit the Forum to appoint an additional civil society member, after considering the selection panel’s recommendations and reviewing the large number of high quality applications received. The additional civil society member was chosen from the pool of civil society nominations published below. The Open Government Forum's Terms of Reference have been updated, with the Forum's approval, to allow an additional member to be appointed from civil society as well as government, to maintain equal representation from government (including Australian and State and Territory Governments) and civil society members on the Open Government Forum. The most recent Terms of Reference reflecting this change are available here.

In addition to Ms Fiona McLeod SC, Chair, Accountability Round Table, who has been reappointed as Co-Chair of the Forum, the following civil society nominees have been appointed to Australia's second Open Government Forum:

  • Dr Lyn Carson, Founding Director and Research Director, newDemocracy Foundation

  • Dr Ken Coghill, Adjunct Professor, Swinburne University

  • Mr Konrad de Kerloy, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

  • Mr Mitch Hillier, Executive Director, Law Firms Australia

  • Mr James Horton, CEO, Datanomics

  • Ms Serena Lillywhite, CEO, Transparency International

  • Ms May Miller-Dawkins, Researcher and Advocate

  • Mr Mark Zirnsak, Senior Social Justice Advocate, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Uniting Church in Australia

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