This National Action Plan sets out the initial steps the federal government will take in pursuit of the aim to improve and build confidence in Australian institutions and strengthen our democracy, by upholding the principles in the Open Government Declaration to:
• promote transparency, fight corruption, empower citizens, and harness the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable;
• uphold the value of openness in our engagement with citizens to improve services, manage public resources, promote innovation, and create safer communities; and
• embrace principles of transparency and open government with a view toward achieving greater prosperity, well-being, and human dignity in our own country and in an increasingly interconnected world.
The Plan sets out an agenda for the next two years across a broad range of important areas:
• Transparency and accountability in business
• Open data and digital transformation
• Access to government information
• Integrity in the public sector
• Public participation and engagement
This is Australia's first National Action Plan and the first step in an ongoing process towards more open government. One of the great strengths of the Open Government Partnership is that it promotes an iterative and continual process of improvement. The Plan provides a foundation to continue engaging with civil society to identify new initiatives and strengthen our efforts over time. There is also an opportunity going forward to work with state, territory and local governments to improve transparency and integrity at all levels of government.
About the OGP
The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative established in 2011 that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Membership requires governments to work with civil society to ‘co-create’ a National Action Plan every two years, with independent reporting on progress.
Civil society is a term used by the Partnership to broadly refer to people and organisations outside of government, including non-government organisations, business, academia, community groups and the public. Importantly, the Open Government Partnership doesn’t prescribe standards that countries should follow – rather it aims to bring governments and citizens of each country together to define their own priorities for reform.
The Australian Government confirmed its membership of the Open Government Partnership in November 2015. Further information can be found at www.opengovpartnership.org.