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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Australia missing from Open Government Partnership

No mention of Australia (or New Zealand) at the launch of the Open Government Partnership in New York yesterday by President Obama that saw 46 countries represented, some at head of state and head of government level. Foreign Minister Rudd was in New York but seems to have passed up the opportunity to line up internationally in the name of open government.

OGP founding governments  (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States) were joined by 38 others (Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uruguay).
 "The Open Government Partnership is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration. OGP is overseen by a steering committee of governments and civil society organizations. To become a member of OGP, participating countries must embrace a high-level Open Government Declaration; deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation; and commit to independent reporting on their progress going forward."

Australia should be willing and proud to commit as required by the Declaration to:
Increase the availability of information about governmental activities.
Support civic participation
Implement the highest standards of professional integrity throughout our administrations. 
Increase access to new technologies for openness and accountability.
And enthusiastic about agreeing
"to espouse these principles in our international engagement, and work to foster a global culture of open government that empowers and delivers for citizens, and advances the ideals of open and participatory 21st century government." 
The invitation is there for Australia and others to get on board in Brazil in March 2012.

C'mon guys!

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