New Zealand’s second national action plan addressed issues ranging from access to information, budget transparency, and civic participation. While the government took major steps toward improving access to legislation, at the midpoint of implementation of the plan nearly half of the listed commitments saw limited completion in the first year. Going forward, it is important that the NZ government includes meaningful reform in areas such as whistleblower protection, the Official Information Act, and citizen education.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their citizenry to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. New Zealand (NZ) began participating in OGP in 2014. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out an annual review of the activities of each country that participates in OGP.
The State Services Commission (SSC) is the lead executive agency responsible for NZ’s commitments and is well placed to coordinate lead OGP efforts as a central agency. The action plan has received Cabinet approval, which serves as a binding, executive-led direction for public servants.