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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Australia and the OGP "inevitable, only a matter of time"

Australian interest in the Open Government Partnership has revived somewhat since the first mention here in September 2011 of our glaring but silent absence from the membership group.

It has been been rescued from the bin or retrieved from between the stools, now rating mentions in the mainstream media. Following those revealing Senate estimates hearings recently, Verona Burgess writing in the Australian Financial Review last Thursday (paywall) detailed the story so far. And Markus Mannheim in The Canberra Times this week gave it a run in the context of my "complex and voluminous" saga with Foreign Affairs and Trade - which he found "breathtaking" by the way. Me too.

But the latest is Australian membership is now talked about as "inevitable, only a matter of time."

Australian information Commissioner Professor John McMillan in a speech this week:
"Another way that governments around the world are changing their approach to information management is to join together in a new multilateral commitment, the Open Government Partnership. Fifty-eight national governments have or will endorse an Open Government Declaration that commits the participants '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'. Australia has not yet joined the Open Government  Partnership - though I think it both essential and inevitable, only a matter of time....
It's March I know but as Senator Faukner put it in December, the time is now.

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