Monday April 11 saw a new chapter in Australian policy making. As part of Australia’s commitments to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) (a 70 country international initiative aiming to increase openness and transparency in governance) close to 100 invited representatives from Australia’s civil society attempted to co-create the first National Action Plan (NAP) for Australia.
The reactions to the full day work shop among the civil society representatives were mixed. Some acknowledged that this was a first attempt and that important lessons were learnt. Others thought the process was more of a token gesture forced by the OGP guidelines.
In my view the two most important lessons from the day was the need for a formal engagement mechanism between government and civil society and the need for engagement by senior public servants and ministers from all departments. Having said this, I think this first work shop was a very important and symbolically important first step.
You can follow the discussion and development of the NAP on the commonwealth government wiki.
I am a member of the Australian Open Government Partnership Civil Society Network steering committee. The network aims to bring together civil society groups with an interest in the NAP process and Australia’s commitment to the OGP. You’ll find the network’s web here.
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