Working Groups and the consultation process on Ireland’s
National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership
Four Working Groups – named for the Four Core Principles of the Open Government Partnership: Transparency, Accountability, Citizen Participation and Technology & Innovation – took shape at the inaugural OGP Ireland public meeting on July 10. Participants continued these discussions online and at a second meeting on August 8 and the final meeting on September 5.
At the July 10 meeting, working group members discussed core barriers and identified solutions – here is a summary of those discussions. On August 8 groups began to devise concrete proposals to government for inclusion in Ireland’s first OGP Action Plan. Here is a summary of those discussions. At the final meeting on September 5, participants signed off on a total of 62 Action Plan proposals. Here is a summary of that day.
Thanks to Ivan Cooper, John Handelaar, Imelda Higgins BL, Diarmaid O’Sullivan, Sarah O’Neill and Nat O’Connor for facilitating the working groups. And thanks to all who contributed both online and offline.
Guidelines used in shaping the Working Group documents:
- Are proposals for action clear, useful and SMART? Please suggest any alterations you feel should be made.
- Are there particular experiences from Ireland or other countries that should be recorded? Please suggest any good examples.
- Are there any particularly useful resources missing? If so, please point towards them.
The four Working Groups are based on the four principles of OGP, as stated on www.opengovpartnership.org. While the nature of concrete commitments in national Action Plans should be flexible and allow for each country’s unique circumstances, all OGP commitments should reflect four core open government principles.
Transparency: information on government activities and decisions is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the public and meets basic open data standards (e.g. raw data, machine readability)
Citizen Participation: governments seek to mobilize citizens to engage in public debate, provide input, and make contributions that lead to more responsive, innovative and effective governance.
Accountability: there are rules, regulations and mechanisms in place that call upon government actors to justify their actions, act upon criticisms or requirements made of them, and accept responsibility for failure to perform with respect to laws or commitments.
Technology and Innovation: governments embrace the importance of providing citizens with open access to technology, the role of new technologies in driving innovation, and the importance of increasing the capacity of citizens to use technology.
Countries may focus their commitments at the national, local and/or sub-national level—wherever they believe their open government efforts will have the greatest impact.
Other countries, such as the UK, have adopted similar structures to create their National Action Plans.