Submissions to this process have now closed.
Open government is the idea – simple and transformative – that governments should be transparent, accountable, and engaging.
Government decision-making should be open to scrutiny, because governments work better when that happens. And because better decisions are made when everyone can contribute, governments should invite and facilitate citizen participation, and open up their troves of useful data for public use.
The Open Government Partnership puts these principles into practice. It’s an international project that brings together governments and communities to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technology to strengthen governance.
Since its foundation in 2011, 75 countries – covering more than a third of the world’s population – have made over 2 700 commitments to reform and open up their governments. These commitments are expressed through biennial National Action Plans. Open Government countries commit to reporting against these Plans, and having progress regularly evaluated by independent researchers.
Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan was released in December 2016. Developed collaboratively by Government and civil society, the Plan comprises 15 ambitious commitments to strengthen and improve:
- transparency and accountability in business
- the availability of open data and the digital transformation of government services
- access to government information
- integrity in the public sector, and
- public participation and engagement.
But these commitments don’t amount to much if we don’t do what we say. Part of the process of driving and monitoring their implementation is to establish our first Open Government Multistakeholder Forum: a group that will allow government and the community to closely work together to make sure we realise the promise of our commitments.
In the spirit of the Open Government Partnership, Australia’s approach to establishing the Forum is to have a discussion with the community to help determine which arrangements we think would be useful. So over the next 12 weeks, we’ll be discussing the Open Government Partnership, settling the terms of reference for our new Multistakeholder Forum, and working to set it up. We hope to have the Forum established by the end of June:
We think these are important conversations, and we invite you to be a part of them – we’ll soon be asking you to have your say on this website, and on Twitter using #OGPAU.
Help us set up a Forum that makes a genuine contribution to our plans to improve the quality of governance and services received by Australians, and that better enables the challenges of our time to be met in the only way they can: together.
Fiona Mcleod SC and Dr Steven Kennedy
Co-Chairs, Open Government Interim Working Group
Here's what you need to know: