Last call for feedback on Australia’s next Open Government national action plan

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday October 15, 2020


The final round of consultation for the development of Australia’s third Open Government Partnership national action plan is underway, according to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The department has called on those who are “interested in more ways to increase participation, transparency and accountability in government” to have their say on the plan’s draft commitments — which touch on transparency during times of crisis — by November 6.

Australia joined the international Open Government Partnership in 2015, and has delivered two national action plans. Launched in 2011, the initiative aims to help governments improve their decision-making processes and be more open, with 78 countries and a number of local governments having signed up so far.

Read more: Turnbull signs Australia up to Open Government Partnership

The Open Government forum has developed seven draft commitments, including:

  1. Building better connections between civil society and government,
  2. Building trust in data sharing,
  3. Open by design (right to know),
  4. Professional support for ministerial advisers,
  5. Improve awareness within Commonwealth entities, and more broadly, of fraud risks associated with government responses to a crisis situation,
  6. Improving transparency and trust related to the use of emergency and crisis powers, and
  7. Best practice in dealing with Freedom of Information requests.

Leadership of the proposed commitments will be shared between the Attorney General’s Department, the Department of Finance, the Office of the National Data Commissioner, the NSW Information and Privacy Commission, and the Australian Association of Information Commissioners.

The public will have the chance to explore the draft commitments further during two webinars to be held in the week beginning October 26.

The forum will consider final feedback on the commitments in November, ahead of recommending the national action plan to government at the end of 2020.

Read more: What does open government mean for digital transformation?


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