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Participation, transparency, accountability… What does open government mean to you?

Australia is currently in the early stages of developing its third National Action Plan 2020-22 ('Discovery' phase) and is keen to hear your views on what open government means to you. If you’ve got some ideas or feedback for our next Plan, please leave these in the comments box below or else at the Get Involved page. Alternatively, please feel free to send through your ideas to: Further information about the process for developing the next Plan (the 'Create' phase), including dates and locations of face-to-face workshops, will be available early 2020. Sign up to the OGPAU mailing list to get the latest updates. 


Submitted by Peter Timmins (not verified) on

Discussion would be helped and ideas generated if government had a crack itself about what open government means.
If this consultation round kicked off, for example, with the Prime Minister publicly giving something that would encourage public participation and indicate serious intent to work in the spirit of partnership to progress reform. When was the last time any minister had anything to say on the subject ,inspiring or otherwise?
In joining the OGP the government committed to “foster a global culture of open government that empowers and delivers for citizens, and advances the ideals of open and participatory 21st century government.” There is no shortage of ideas out here but the record of the last four years of partnership in this cause is not encouraging.

Submitted by Ken Coghill (not verified) on

Where is the survey foreshadowed above - is it "our open government questionnaire"?

Submitted by Sue King (not verified) on

Are a group of people with limited information on the subjects within their portfolio. They make decisions based on a small set of information and this is generally driven from a profit rather than a social and economic base. For example roads and homes trump ecosystems and the bigger the better for more jobs. The value of non-financial assets like community participation, volunteering, etc are un-noticed. The political cycle leads to self-centredness. The schedules are punishing so no gentle, homely sorts like me participate. They do not look at what matters, land, water and the environment and bringing up future generations. They are seen as side-lines when they are the essence of our existece and pollies are not working on what matters and non-financial benefits.

Submitted by Odette Stevens (not verified) on

No secret deals. Parliamentary privilege ceased and parliamentarians held to account about secret deals. Parliamentarians are meant to act for all Australians not just the rich corporate donors.

Submitted by Bruce Waddell (not verified) on

To become ill is not a political objective. For the government, with the custody of refugees a first responsibility, it is appalling to use those same people as political bait. Your actions to fate cannot be excused with more brutality.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

We don't have open government in Australia. The awarding of contracts without due process; the lack of an independent federal ICAC that can investigate all aspects of federal govt and MP actions, including relationships with third parties; a FOI system that is prompt, affordable and has no room for ministerial discretion; sacking for misleading or lying to parliament; published ministerial and ministerial staff diaries with no more than 24 hours lag time; the exclusion of MPs including Ministers from direct and indirect links with government contracts, including all kin by birth and marriage or former marriage.

Submitted by Kerry (not verified) on

A democracy requires governments are accountable and power is divided. This means governments should be accountable to the media. The Prime Minister and ministers are required as part of their job to answer questions from journalists. They should be listening to experts (such as the retired emergency chiefs and climate scientists), and to not do so is criminal negligence. They should not waste parliamentary question time on Dorothy Dixers. Funding for political campaigns needs to be capped, and transparent, and known prior to elections. All disclosures of conflict of interest should be totally transparent. All 'deals' between elected representatives needs to be open and transparent to the electorate. Journalists and whistleblowers require protections. No media zones such as in Nauru are unacceptable in a democracy.

Submitted by Kieran (not verified) on

An open government means that all citizens, regardless of age, race, gender, disability, wealth or any other attribute, have equal say in how the country is run while also having equal power. They do not have to be elected to any office to be able to vote on proposed legislation. For an open government to function there needs to be direct democracy, the true form of democracy. Representative democracy that most of the world operates under is no more than Democratic Dictatorship. Does that mean that there should be no representation? No members of the public can choose to be represented by someone else and change their mind at any point. This form of democracy is better known as Liquid Democracy. Now obviously having everyone participating at the top level of government is expensive and slow. So instead government should operate in a bottom up approach, with local governments have most power and most citizen participation. Members for the higher levels of government would be elected proportionally from the local government.

A transparent government means that all information is available to all citizens before voting commences. This information would include any conflicts of interest, all details of what is being voted on and consequences of what would happen should the vote pass.

That all members of government are not above the law and that should a member break the law they will be adequately punished. They should also be accountable to the citizens that put them there with the citizens able to pull their support at anytime.

Submitted by Paul Edwards (not verified) on

Increase and guarantee funding to the ABC. Generate system of detecting, reporting and resisting any attempts to undermine its unique ability to hold government accountable.

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