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Thursday, May 23, 2013

EITI a different world from information access and OGP

Go figure!

Despite the fact they share a common goal and are complimentary in important respects.

But still an eye-opening day for me at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Beyond Transparency Conference in Sydney today. Thirteen hundred delegates from 95 countries with 40 signed up to the EITI,11 years after the initiative kicked off. All gathered together at a wonderfully pleasant Sydney venue. Quite a few deep pockets behind all this including AusAID I expect. Not knocking it but makes you think the OGP could do with a kick along of similar proportions.

Presentations were particularly instructive about the complications involved in trying to make a multi-stakeholder -  government -  business - CSO framework work, highly relevant to our own path towards a national OGP action plan.

Transparency was mentioned hundreds of times in the course of the day - twenty times by Australian Resources Minister Gary Gray alone - but the Open Governance Partnership not once except when I couldn't resist a question during discussion of extending the scope of the EITI to encompass broader transparency issues. 

Australian Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury also failed to mention the OGP despite a broad ranging invitation in a Q and A when asked to expand on concrete Australian plans for improved transparency. 

Pity the Media Release yesterday from Attorney General Mark Dreyfus about Australia's intention to join the OGP, with its obvious transparency message, didn't make it into some Canberra in-trays quickly enough.

I'll be back tomorrow at the Sydney Convention Centre for a bit more.

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