Open Government Partnership – Australia

5.1 - Open Government Forum

Overall status:
Completed but delayed

This commitment establishes a multistakeholder forum to:

  • monitor and drive implementation of Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan;

  • help develop the next Open Government National Action Plan; and

  • raise awareness about open government.

Current status

A 15-week process to establish a Forum commenced on 17 April, 2017.

A phase of public engagement included:

  • publication, on 1 May, of a proposal by the Interim Working Group on how the Multistakeholder Forum might work. Four submissions were received, responding to 10 targeted questions posed in the proposal;

  • a Twitter Q&A with the Interim Working Group Co-Chairs on 4 May, which resulted in nearly 500 engagements (retweets and likes) and nearly 21,000 impressions; and

  • a public workshop in Melbourne on 17 May, attended by 29 participants. About 200 viewers viewed the opening and closing of the workshop, which was livestreamed.

The Interim Working Group met on 18 May, 2017 and considered the results of the consultations. It made the recommendations to government about how Australia’s first multistakeholder forum, which it proposed should be called the Open Government Forum, should be appointed, structured and run. Government adopted these recommendations.

Nominations to the Forum were open from 8-22 June, 2017. 25 nominations for 8 vacant civil society positions were received. All were published online.

A selection panel, comprising Co-Chairs of the Open Government Forum (Dr Steven Kennedy and Fiona McLeod) and the Hon Murray Kellam AO, assessed nominations against published selection criteria. The panel made recommendations to government on the appointment of members.

On 21 July 2017, the following civil society members were appointed to Australia’s first Open Government Forum:

  • Ms Fiona McLeod SC, President, Law Council of Australia (Co-Chair)

  • Mr James Christian, CEO, NSW Aboriginal Land Council

  • The Hon. Dr Ken Coghill, Deputy Chair and Treasurer, Accountability Round Table

  • Mr James Horton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Datanomics Pty Ltd

  • Ms Emily Howie, Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre

  • Ms Serena Lillywhite, Chief Executive Officer, Transparency International Australia

  • Ms Katherine Szuminska, Co-Founder and Director, OpenAustralia Foundation

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

The first meeting of the Open Government Forum, which will also serve as a handover from the Open Government Interim Working Group, will be held in Canberra on Friday 28 July, 2017.


Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet



Other stakeholders

Government: All Australian Government departments responsible for delivering Australia’s Open Government commitments

Non-Government: Civil society members of the Interim Working Group

Steps to implementation

Implementation Step Status

Run a 12-week process to establish a Forum. (April - June 2017)

Completed but delayed

Convene a public workshop on how Australia’s first Open Government Multistakeholder Forum should be appointed, structured and run. (17 May 2017)


Convene a meeting for the Interim Working Group to consider the results of the consultations, and make recommendations to government. (18 May 2017)


Nomination process for civil society positions on Australia’s Open Government Forum (8 - 22 June 2017)


A selection panel to assess nominations and make recommendations to government on appointment of civil society members of the Forum. (29 - 30 June 2017)


Hold first Open Government Forum meeting (28 July 2017)

Last updated: 25/07/2017

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