Network of civic citizens to engage on open government

A national coalition of organisations and individuals is gearing up to respond to the Federal Government’s invitation to engage on issues concerning how to make government work better, focusing on transparency, open government, citizen participation and technological innovation.

The government has unveiled plans for wide ranging consultation over the next six months in the course of development of a National Action Plan to complete membership requirements of the Open Government Partnership. Information sessions are scheduled this week in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and Canberra.   Register to attend here

Australia announced the intention to join the partnership in May 2013 but had not progressed the application until the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet last month released details of steps to finalise membership by July 2016.

This requires development in partnership with the public of a two year plan of concrete commitments for reform.   Details of the public consultation and plan are here.

The Australian Open Government Partnership Network will bring together a wide range of civil society groups.

The Chair, former Queensland Integrity Commissioner David Solomon welcomed the announcement and the government’s commitment to the Open Government Declaration.

When Australia was invited to join in September 2011, the partnership had eight members including the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Brazil.

In 2015 sixty nine countries have completed or are in the process of completing membership requirements.

Dr Solomon said “ Australia has stood to the side while reformers elsewhere identified and acted upon plans to improve government and government engagement with the public.” We look forward to working with government now to catch up.”

The network will provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas on areas for reform, seek to ensure the plan is developed in the true spirit of partnership, and work to assist government in the determination of priorities for consideration.

“Democracy is a defining feature of good government Dr Solomon said. “Listening, discussing and taking on board the thoughts and ideas of the citizenry is a vital element in making democracy work.”

 

Media Contact: Network Convener Peter Timmins-0413256777.