Open Government Partnership - Resources
OpenTheGovernment.org has played a key role, since 2011, in coordinating US civil society's engagement with the Open Government Partnership on the First, Second, and Third National Action Plans (NAPs).
As part of engagement in the Open Government Partnership, the US government is required to develop an OGP country plan with concrete commitments on open government. The government makes public commitments to both domestic and international audiences and accountability for those commitments is built into the OGP process.
To set high standards for the US government's third plan, civil society groups created a model National Action Plan. OpenTheGovernment.org invited civil society groups and members of the public to submit their own model commitments through a Google site, and break down the big goals of openness into concrete steps that could be reasonably taken over a year's time. Several issues included in civil society's first model National Action Plan were incorporated in the government's second NAP.
Last week, the World Justice Project published the Open Government Index, an examination and ranking of governments’ openness. Notably, the index used public surveys to and “in-country expert questionnaires” to score countries. It’s an interesting approach. After all, the theoretical strength of the Freedom of Information Act matters little if the public does not find it to be an effective, useful tool. On the Open Government Partnership blog, WJP’s Alejandro Ponce uses the Index data to illustrate that “OGP participation indeed linked to more transparent, participatory, and accountable government in practice.”
Join With Us to Turn Rhetoric into Results with a Civil Society Model National Action Plan for Open Government
We and our colleagues have learned that the government's National Action Plan for open government is the place to turn openness rhetoric into specific commitments from government that lead to measurable results. We invite you to join us in furthering that goal. As part of engagement in the Open Government Partnership, the US government is required to develop – and implement -- an OGP country plan with concrete commitments on open government – in collaboration with Civil Society. We hope you will join us and contribute to creating the Civil Society Model National Action Plan.
The following analysis is from Khaliah Barnes, Director of the Student Privacy Project and Administrative Law Counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
The Obama Administration’s Second Open Government National Action Plan aims to “use big data to support greater openness and accountability.” The Administration has committed to:
- Enhance sharing of best practices on data privacy for state and local law enforcement;
- Ensure privacy protection for big data analyses in health; and
- Expand technical expertise in government to stop discrimination.
OpenTheGovernment.org was pleased to host Al Kags as a Mandela Washington Fellow this summer. Mr. Kags is the founder of the Open Institute, a "think-do tank" that collaborates with governments and civil society groups on open government issues.
In partnership with OTG, Mr.Kags and the Open Institute present an insightful analysis of the role of civil society in the Open Government Partnership. In addition to observations drawn from conversations with government officials and civil society representatives from several OGP countries, the report features recommendations for improving CSO participation.
The Classification Reform Committee (CRC) is tasked with considering the Public Interest Declassification Board's (PIDB) 2012 recommendations and addressing classification reform more broadly. Five open government groups met with the Reform Committee earlier in September, and sent a follow up letter outlining crucial reforms the Committee should consider. The letter is available here.
The US will address four new openness issues as part of its 2014-2015 National Action Plan, honoring its promise to make the second Plan a “living document.” The new commitments largely build on the government’s new and existing data and technology initiatives. The government’s commitment to increase transparency in spending now includes the administration’s efforts to implement the DATA Act.
Here are the key dates for the evaluation project for the next several months, during which civil society groups will complete the second evaluation and begin drafting stretch goals.