Minister Donohoe initiatiates public consultation on Govt transparency and accountability
Success of international Open Government Partnership initiative to be built upon through Second Action Plan
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., today 24 August 2016, launched a public consultation process to develop Ireland’s second National Action Plan under the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative, which challenges governments to be more transparent, accountable and responsive to citizens.
Initiating the process, Minister Donohoe said: ‘I am leading the Government’s efforts to create, with citizens, a second National Action Plan as part of the Open Government Partnership. As part of this international initiative, the Government will agree commitments to make the State more transparent, more accountable and more inclusive in how it reaches decisions, delivers services and communicates with its citizens.”
Ireland’s first National Action Plan, 2014-2016, promoted citizen participation in policy making, strengthened governance and accountability and advanced the Government’s Open Data strategy. Its major achievements included legislation to regulate lobbying, protect whistleblowers and reform of the Freedom of Information and ethics regimes.
Issuing an initial consultation document Open Government Partnership Ireland: Have Your Say, Minister Donohoe said: ‘I look forward to working with citizens, civil society interests, businesses and public service users on the development of Ireland’s second National Action Plan. Together we can make it challenging and effective, further improve Government transparency and help bring the citizen closer to political and public life.
“The second National Action Plan will not only help improve policy making and the delivery of services, it will also aim to further strengthen our systems of governance and accountability and prevent corruption. The actions in the Plan, which will run to the end of June 2018, may involve new technologies, or improve the ways we use existing ones.
“In line with the Programme for a Partnership Government, the second National Action Plan will help change the relationship between the Irish people, their parliament and their Government. I expect the Plan will have an impact on making budgets and spending more transparent, will improve accountability arrangements, will make public consultations more effective and ensure information on performance and delivery is shared more openly by public bodies.”
”Furthermore, creating a new National Action Plan provides an opportunity to further promote Open Data policies by public bodies. This has the potential to yield economic and employment benefits, in addition to strengthening the performance accountability of public bodies.”
More information on Ireland’s membership of the Open Government Partnership and on this consultation exercise is available at www.ogpireland.ie The dedicated consultation portal https://consult.ogpireland.ie will allow an open exchange of ideas and the selection of possible commitments to be transparent.
A series of Civic Forums, where the ideas that have been submitted will be discussed, will be held in September. These will result in a draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 that will be subject to a further public consultation in October before it is adopted by Government.
Notes to Editors
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative currently joined by some 70 countries in the developed and developing world. It aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
The OGP was started on the margins of the UN general assembly in September 2011 with support from President Obama of the United States and other leaders. It is run by a steering committee composed of governments and civil society organisations.
Information on the OGP initiative is available on the Open Government Partnership’s website www.opengovpartnership.org
Information on Ireland and the OGP and more detail on this consultation process is available on a dedicated website www.ogpireland.ie
Open Data is about providing machine readable data that is generated in the public sector openly, in free and reusable formats, so that it can be used to promote innovation and transparency. It can be used, for example, to understand, and therefore improve, our health services, our transport infrastructure and our air quality. For further information on the Open Data Initiative see: http://www.per.gov.ie/en/open-data/
Detailed information on the actions contained in Ireland’s first OGP National Action Plan, 2014-2106, and their impact is available in an Independent Review conducted on behalf of the Open Government Partnership. See: Independent Reporting Mechanism, Ireland: Progress Report