Gov’t seeks input for second foray into open government

The State Services Commission, the lead agency in delivering New Zealand's commitments to the International Open Government Partnership (OGP) is seek public comment on its final OGP Self-assessment Report for progress on delivering on New Zealand’s first National Action Plan 2014-2016.

It is the second call this month from the government for public comment on New Zealand’s participation in open government initiatives.

According to State Services Commission’s web site, it has commissioned engage2, an Australian company that designs and manages community and stakeholder engagement strategies for governments, to “engage with the public so that we can jointly develop an action plan for New Zealand.” The engagement process is underway so take the opportunity to participate.” It is seeking comment by 25 September.

This is an international open government initiative separate from the International Open Data Charter. On 5 September, Land Information Minister Louise Upston issued a call for public input on whether New Zealand should adopt the charter or develop its own framework suited to its requirements. She made no mention of the separate initiative to join the Open Government Partnership.

The Open Government Partnership is, according to its web site, “a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.” It is overseen by a Steering Committee including representatives of governments and civil society organizations.

It was launched in 2011 when the eight founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration, and announced their country action plans. Since 2011, a further 62 additional governments to join the Partnership.

The Open Data Charter was signed by the leaders of the G8 nations in 2013. To date only 14 national governments have signed up to it.

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