UPDATE: a document recording comments received at this event is available here: https://www.ogpireland.ie/civic-forum-dublin/
The event has ended, participants informally continue their discussions and network.
Final word, is that written submissions are also received as well as telephone. Thank you to everyone for coming! You can keep making submissions on the first stage of this consultation until Friday 30th September.
How will it be decided which suggestions go into the Action Plan?
Closing now. Kevin Daly is wrapping up and making final comments!
State needs to allow more time to citizens to engage with consultations.
Move forward consultative groups, e.g. Constitutional Convention.
Provide peer review of services provided by the state.
Look at ideas of road shows and ongoing process. Very Dublin centric (one meeting in Kilkenny)
In consultation processes, you state all of the options, and in the final decision process, the authority should define their preferences.
People with disabilities are called ‘clients’…
When you hear the government outline their own great performance, and then you hear other groups or the opposition provide criticism, who do you believe?
All illegitimate power in this country derives from us as citizens. In Article 1 of Constitution. Need Direct Democracy. I favour Swiss Style DD. Voted overwhelmingly for by Constitutional Convention. Needed to change behaviour of elected politicians. We have to be able to exercise power ourselves
In any consultation, you start with all options, but when it comes to the final decision process, it would be nice for the purpose of transparency to know what everybody’s preferences are.
Rate the state = rate the information you have access to.
When it comes to decision making we should also know what the governments preferences are.
I’m a citizen and public sector are my servants, and business/customer oriented language must be removed from public documentation. Must go back to older concept of citizens
Use PGP signing to help make data trustworthy.
PDFs are a false illusion that data is preserved.
On 1st of December the whole nation can tweet or vote in a ‘rating’ of the state, rate the state. Mark the state on a scale of 1 to 10.
Publish by default all information that is not sensitive.
Put a small fraction of money into consultation with people who have disabilities. Much less expensive and more effective than just talking to people upstairs!
Draft a process for standardizing open data across departments.
In Ireland we have national council of people with disabilities. I used my own disability benefit to visit Geneva to lobby for Irish people with disabilities rights
Update the document recording procedures of public bodies.
Census – Just under half of population admitted to having a disability: elderly, learning disability, deaf, visual disability etc.
Cultural change is needed within Councils
Community use would support propagation and ‘enforcement’.
There should be a booklet on data standards for everybody. Everyone who is creating data should use it. Anyone who wants to use the data can also use it. Otherwise you would have a proliferation of standards.
Place information on the back of tax forms explaining what the money will be spent on. Maybe create ‘Where does my tax go?’ infographics.
One Minister (Howlin) committed to open data and another committed to Post Codes. Action – follow up with the G8 charter.
Government might consider allocating more resources and more time to this process of citizen engagement – more opportunity to engage – an opportunity to talk about how to say petition a TD or hold your local councillors to account etc. etc.
Review the commercial model to see if the post code algorithm can be opened.
Funding for awareness raising campaign around governance and accountability.
The postcode algorithm is not open.
First commitment of Minister Howlin was to commit G8 Open Data Charter. There are 10 datasets listed that need to be opened.
nMoney has been invested in MerrionStreet.com which is essentially the government’s press office ‘propaganda’
Investigate legislation relating to the receipt of gifts. (e.g. gifts under 200 Eur)
Need for government to promote various ways of promoting citizen engagement
CSPE isn’t enough
Are you talking about a budget for example, that you will know it will be updated at a certain date regularly? Response: Yes, service level agreements are needed.
The appearance of corruption or conflicts of interest can be damaging
How organs of government etc. operate is vital part of state education
Public sector standards bill should be fully implemented.
I have to know the data will be updated at a certain point. The data has to be predictable.
How much should our school system be used to promote understanding. They are a captive audience because you have to be in school
The data that is open today. It’s existence needs to be traced. And it needs to be recorded. No one will notice if you take data down at the moment.
Cater for all needs and abilities
Need to open charity data. All of the data is collected by Benefacts. An archive needs to be available and constantly updated. It’s authenticity and longetivity needs to be preserved. The data needs to be trust worthy for the public. Data should be FAIR. Findable, Accesible, Inter-operable and Re-usable.
Everything seems to be online these days, but there are some people like the elderly for whom that doesn’t suit. In the next 20 or 30 years everything will probably be online, but there should be a phasing project and options for those with learning disabilities, who are non-verbal etc.
Improve government procurement processes
I was on government websites to see if I could sign up for updates. But I couldn’t find any. It’s not a big deal. But it would good to have an option to leave your email to subscribe to updates.
Fund satire & comedy (yes minutes!)
Ready for third and final roundtable discussion of the evening!
Further independent regulatory bodies In the manner of HIQA
There is a problem with recording of proceedings of district courts.
All public employees should adhere to certain minimum standards, specified for particular posts.
Internal consultation on what are the challenges to promoting transparency internally.
Ensuring further transparency around PPNs and executive council
If there is resistance, there is a reason. Are people not taking notes at meetings with lobbyists because they are afraid. Can we have a no fear policy?
People need support to do their job in the public service.
There is a fear of transparency in government agencies. Is there room for training to help allay fears?
Create a budget and enable resources, specifically for the investigation of fraud and corruption.
At start of meeting, the submission was highlighted that Irish Sign Language needs to be recognised.
Often get a small group of people who are really just pushing their scheme
It should be a legal duty to create records, which there currently is not, minutes for all meeting or any records related to a decision by a government employee.
We need to put resources into a proper publication scheme.
Few departments are adhering to the lobbying code under the lobbying register. There should be a push to encourage this.
Establish an anti corruption commission , or an anti corruption unit within the Garda.
Danger of setting up parallel activities which don’t improve accountability, they cloud it. We should remove layers of obscurity. Implement things that citizens can see as managable and actable
Create an online public register of beneficial ownership in private companies.
Public resources need to be ring fenced with protection from and investigation of corruption, fraud and misuse.
Slovenia has such a legislative footprint.
Attached to every piece of legislation is a set of links showing who influenced it, and showing how it evolved.
Legislative footprint – this is an attempt to capture in one place who has influenced a piece of legislation.
Old town councils could be reinstated including in Dublin
Issue of members of the deaf community being excluded from this consultation was raised at the start. The community’s submission is that International Sign Language is not recognised as an official language by the Irish government. And this excludes them from public participation.
Should be an ability for local groups to make presentations to Local Authorities
We should adopt the continental process of many smaller local authorities. 2000-4000 local authorities. Shortens feedback loops etc.
Open Door county council meeting, public can be excluded from some meetings.
Register of Beneficial Ownership should be public and free.
PPNs- layers of pre- legislative scrutiny at a local level on certain aspects of legislation. , Town Hall meetings.
A consultation process only has any value if citizens also have say in final decision making
Accountants should do an evaluation – hedge funds made gezillions for the incredibly wealthy. There should be an independent evaluation and some transparency around it.
We should try to strengthen PPNs via town hall meetings etc.
Everything should be debated if requisite number of signatures collected on a topic – Could set up a website to do so
PPNs should be abolished – I don’t think we can just continue to abolish things..
All information which isn’t nationally sensitive should be open
The Irish went through the collapse in 2008. Hedge funds made a load of money.
Information needs to be opened by default
The real money is sloshing around the world going whereever it suits them. It looks like that what we do at the national level is irrelevant because the people with the real money aren’t even paying taxes.
PPNs are a poor substitute for democratically elected Councils
Setup volunteer citizen councils to discuss issues and to link up via PPNs to put forward ideas
What are the Irish States transactions with people or companies who don’t seem to be rooted in any particular country?
Submission on making it easier ot suggest urban improvement and urban renewal projects. Removing barriers to participation in this regard. In Italy there’s local regulation in Bologna which makes it easier for citizens to make suggestions for things like a new park etc. Currently hard to approach local authority with a proposal and can take a long time for that to be actualised. Enables collaboration.
Transparency around global capitalism. It seems 1% has the wealth of 99%. This body of individuals has detached themselves from the state. This completely discredits capitalism.
Accounting standards – you can’t compare one Department to another. Consistent accounting standards should be applied across all departments.
Difficulties have emerged arising from the reduction in the number of town/city Councillors/
For example, a colleague got a list of all of the assets that HSE owns.
There should a publication scheme for under FOI for Fiscal information.
Beneficial Ownership data sets out who owns companies. This is in the UK.
Publish government frameworks by which they are held to account.
Themes that emerged under Transparency and Accountability- transparent decision making. Who does what? Can you pinpoint who makes the decision. Is it easy to define what a policy is, to explain it to citizens and to defend the policy?
Ready for the second roundtable now!
The tables have rotated, a second group now begins a discussion on Governance and Accountability
More independence from managers to do what they want with a budget, clear objectives, freedom of action, and accountability. Response: There are limitations. For example, there are rules e.g one can’t let go staff. Counter-response: If you have freedom you don’t have to replace staff you can reuse that budget somewhere else.
Dublin Beta – A process in Dublin where they tried a lot of things. It’s a good resource to learn from, but someone needs to look at that and learn the lessons
Perhaps not enough people would understand how alternative voting systems would work in practice, a report could outline potential options.
Modern financial management is necessary for departments. Budgets should be set and accounted for.
On company ownership, where they are owned by entities outside of our juristication – that complicates things. Response: Other jurisdictions should do it also. The UK currently have the Register of Beneficial Ownership.
Appears to be no strategy in government departments – Communication error. Should discover how people feel and implement best practice
Better training on UN Convention on Human Rights for People with Disabilities. It is promised that it will be enacted this year. This will have implications for public servants and training.
Alternative voting models should be looked at, research Danish model of voting. Research of preferential voting system.
There is a Best Practice Guide for public servants that citizens can use. An action could be to raise awareness on this.
Every department has a training budget
Create an alteration to the majority voting process (e.g. Scandinavian Governments)
Allocate a training budget? Upskilling and reskilling public servants
Public servants should be better trained particularly around the Aarhus Convention.
Governments in Scandinavia are more consensual and less adversarial. In Ireland we have inherited the British model. Instead of round table politics, it is very confrontational.
A lot of people don’t know about the Aarhus Convention.
Create an index of significant documents related to the executive branch.
In France, when you get official correspondence, they tell you how your money is being spent
There is a need for free access to all company data and register of beneficial ownership.
Q. it can be hard to find out who is responsible for certain activities in government.
http://whodoeswhat.gov.ie/ outlines Government roles and responsibilities.
Very difficult to find out how the budget works. Should have online resources to help
Online register of interests for public representatives, machine readable data be made available to cross-reference this information.
We need to be more transparent publicly with public funds.
Constituents always say we don’t know how our money is spent.
South America – Set aside a portion of budget and let decisions be made by people
Once there is public money spent, it should be fully transparent on where it goes.
Participatory budgeting – pilot initiative on engagement?
the public has no information to prove that the best options are/have been considered
Participation is to a large extent about trust – ‘Do I trust this platform?’
Political life is not systematic, it is very complex and hard to map decision making processes.
Keep people engaged within their local council, virtual engagement research
I agree with PPNs.
This is an example of where data was open and it is no longer available. How can they manage in our traffic city without this data. I’m questioning transparency.
Structure in place for engagement are elections, which are large games and are dramatic
I asked for traffic data on particular points that were mentioned in the Environmental Impact Statement. They refused the information. Also under FOI, it was refused. That data used to be available.
Breadth and depth – Need good quality consultation, but can’t be to boring and leave people behind. How to achieve balance?
Bring a sense of community to long term engagement
Provide more information to encourage citizen engagement with policy.
I want all PPNs abolished. They are undemocratic. They were set up with no consultation. They are a discrimination against the capital city. They undermine the democratic process and should be abolished.
Local engagement: Organisation model at core of Greco-Roman government model is hierarchy. Irish literature talks about distributive power. Distributed power is inherited in medieval Ireland. Singapore created a game to enable students to experience what it’s like to lead a county. We go to Clare Island every year and play with this system, elected Tommy Tiernan as high king etc. Everyone experiences what it’s like to run a state. Should be part of TY education. Better than just moaning! Feel what it’s like!
Support a better working relationship between PPNs and Councils. In some areas it works well.
The requirement that you must present the fact that you have your life long disability. Different sections of government should join up data so the person doesn’t have to present themselves to demonstrate their disability.
Department’s document, there’s a lot of stuff out there, but what about implementation?
Two week consultation period is extremely brief. Time is very important, but it’s also about what feedback people get
Point raised that auditing costs for voluntary organisations is difficult. It costs 1000 for auditing. There is a need to differentiate between professional charities and voluntary charities.
Ian Devlin (Governance and Accountability table) recaps the discussions from the Kilkenny forum.
Removing barriers to participation – language and structures around consultation. Best practice has to be better in government, including on local government level
Kevin Daly feeds in comments from the civic forumin Kilkenny. For example: The need to put proper data systems in place; the need for a proper balance between data release and data protection. We should not hold data because of fear.
There is also the need for context in publishing data. Not just publishing % but explaining what percentages mean. Make it more about knowledge; establish a local Public Accounts Committee. They don’t currently cover the local level.
How to make technology have a positive impact on people’s lives
Now at last the discussions have started.
Some introductions underway at our roundtable on citizen engagement
Facebook live discussion on our handbook on how to set up and operate OGP civic forums.
Message from Peter:
– Keep up the good work
– Get the OGP word out
80% of commitments in the first action plan fully or partially completed. This is very good.
From an International perspective, Ireland is doing fairly well
Peter Varga is speaking about Open Government Partnership.
The civic forum has started.
The live blog of the OGP civic forum, to be held in the Institute of Public Administration, Dublin will start this evening at 6pm.