But do we or don't we have an interdepartmental committee beavering away on an application for Australia to join the Open Government Partnership ?
In a speech in the Senate last night Senator Faulkner asked for chapter and verse in light of differing stories that emerged from DFAT and AG's in Estimates in February:
I request that a clear statement be made on this important matter of the Open Government Partnership as soon as possible in relation to, first of all, the existence of an interdepartmental committee on the Open Government Partnership. I also want to know its membership, the dates of its meetings and its work program.Me too.
Meanwhile the OGP has several meetings scheduled for London April 22nd - 24th, including a working level Steering Committee meeting, a ministerial level meeting and an event to welcome new member countries.
An announcement by us before then would be welcome news, but in any event, it would make sense for Australia to have a presence there to get the lie of the land. Preferably someone with a bit of background and stature not the Third Secretary or similar from the High Commission who might start from scratch and manage merely to shake a hand or two.
An election for three new civil society positions on the Steering Committee is also scheduled. Three of the 24 candidates are from Indonesia, one from the Philippines.Tough competition.