Open Government Partnership Australia

Transparency

How might we (government and civil society) make government more transparent?

Australia has always ranked highly in transparency and openness indicators, consistently ranking in the top tier of countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index and the Edelman Trust Barometer. As part of OGP National Action Plans, we have delivered a range of initiatives to help reinforce this position and to ensure that data and information are made as open and transparent as possible. For example: 

•    In NAP1, we made it easier for citizens to access government data through improvements to the functionality and useability of data.gov.au, the Australian government repository of open data;
•    In NAP2, The Australian Government improved public access to open data about government contracts by creating an application processing interface (API) compliant with the international best practice Open Contracting Data Standard

There are always more areas that we can improve in, and access to information and transparency around decision making processes was a recurring theme that came through in the discovery phase. 

We are now seeking your views on what type of commitments could be included in Australia’s third National Action Plan 2020-22.

We are looking for specific ideas, and encourage you to consider the following when submitting your ideas:

•    What is the idea (is it a policy, a new service or new technology or something else)?
•    What problem does the idea solve and/or what opportunity does it seize?
•    What are the benefits of this idea (for example – does it help government be more accountable, transparent and accessible to the public)?
•    Who will deliver it, and how might the broader public be involved in this idea?

If you need some prompters, pleae refer to the design questions that are being used to help genreate ideas. Post your ideas below!

Timeline 

•    Challenge opens – 10 Feb 2020 and closes on 1 March 2020.
•    Ideas will then be considered by the Open Government Forum (offline), who will develop a shortlist of Draft Concepts for further public comment (March 2020).
•    Draft Concepts will be further refined by Working Groups (offline) during April 2020 and turned into Draft Commitments.
•    Draft commitments will be presented here for final feedback and challenge closes (May 2020). 

 

8 ideas submitted!
Submissions for new ideas have now closed

Be open to adapting and improving processes, creating ways to allow for input from the broader community and public participation to monitor and scrutinise things such as government licences and contracts at every step of the way.

It is more than a decade since secrecy provisions in Commonwealth laws were reviewed.

Recent examples of breaches of FOI laws by government agencies:

The Office of Home affairs tried for 3 years, without success, to keep Serco’s detention centre policy and procedure manual secret, arguing that to do so would lead to an increase of complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

simple easy to use open online tool for citizens to see Government spending to last $ with links to who or which area is uplifted or benefited.

Political donations are widely perceived as bribes.

Donors and recipients actively try to hide or water down the extent of donations.

The only way to increase transparency is to scrap political donations altogether.

Or, as a compromise,

Limit political donations to Australian Citizens only (no companies, organisations) and limit to $5,000 per year.

To address concerns about transparency and accountability, a thorough review of the FOI act should be conducted, as recommended by the Hawke Review of the FOI Act in 2013.

1. Ensure really adequate time for public participation (this consultation runs only from 12 Feb to 1 March).
2. Provide (very brief) competing propositions or alternatives from which choice will be made. Eg. Metro tunnel rail link/No tunnel/no link
3. Justify choices made by reporting rational argument

For this Government to stop hiding behind spin doctor responses to ordinary Australian Citizens.
Implement a Federal Integrity Commission immediately - with retrospective powers to investigate Official Misconduct and Corruption issues.
Completely outlaw any contributions to any Party running for election in any way shape or form.