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Engage States and Territories to better understand information access

Overall status:
On-track

Lead implementing agency/actor

Information and Privacy Commission NSW on behalf of Commonwealth, State and Territory Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen, and supported by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Commitment 

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?

Under Australia’s federal system of government, responsibilities are shared between different levels of government. To date, participation in the Open Government Partnership has occurred primarily at the federal government level.

There is significant work underway at the state and territory level that contributes to the development of a culture of government openness, enhanced levels of transparency and greater public accountability. The right to access government information is independently oversighted by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen.

Currently, there is no consistent mechanism to enable an assessment of awareness of the right to access government information and experiences in exercising that right at each level of government.

What is the commitment?

This commitment will better provide for subnational participation in the Open Government Partnership process to build understanding of information access frameworks. We will achieve this by:

  1. facilitating administrative arrangements between state and territory governments and Australian Government officials responsible for Australia’s Open Government commitments to support collaboration and learning on open government matters (including highlighting the opportunity for formal subnational cooperation and membership in the Open Government Partnership); and
  2. engaging with Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen to seek agreement to conduct surveys to measure citizens’ awareness of the right to access government information, and their experiences and outcomes in exercising that right. These surveys will inform activities to promote and support the right to access government information.

How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?

We will promote fuller participation in the Open Government Partnership by Australian states and territories (providing greater opportunities to enhance government transparency and accountability), and, in particular, enhance understandings of how the right to information access is experienced by Australians.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?

By facilitating greater participation in the Open Government Partnership process by state and territory governments, this commitment will advance all the OGP values. In particular, by better measuring the value citizens place on the right to access government information, and their awareness of, and their experiences and outcomes in exercising that right, this commitment will advance the OGP value of access to information.

Current status

On track

Contact

Information and Privacy Commission NSW - Elizabeth.tydd@ipc.nsw.gov.au

Other stakeholders

State actors involved - State and Territory Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups - Accountability Round Table, Australian Open Government Partnership Civil Society Network.

Steps to implementation

Implementation Step Implementation Period Status

Administratively engage state and territory governments to raise awareness of the Open Government Partnership, support collaboration and learning on open government matters, and highlight the opportunity for formal cooperation and subnational membership

Q3 2018 - Q4 2018 On-track

Engage with state and territory Information Commissioners to agree to the design of a survey to measure the value citizens place on the right to access government information, and their awareness of, and their experiences and outcomes in exercising that right

Q3 2018 - Q4 2018 Not yet commenced

Engage with state and territory Information Commissioners to conduct survey

Q1 2019 - Q3 2019 Not yet commenced

Engage with state and territory Information Commissioners to analyse and publish results of survey

Q3 2019 - Q4 2019 Not yet commenced
Last updated: 21/09/2018

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