Australia has not yet begun the process of consulting (on an action plan containing concrete and measurable commitments in the areas of transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement) and, given the membership intake is in April 2014, I don't see there is sufficient time for even an abbreviated process. Even if the Australian Government began public consultation this week, the UK recommends allowing at least three months for this process - plus additional time for refining the feedback, detailed consultations with the civic sector and for actually writing and approving the plan.The only nation thus far to withdrawn from its commitment to join the OGP has been Russia, which decided it was not able or willing to meet the requirements of membership. Will Australia join Russia, becoming the second nation to withdraw? Or will it simply delay membership - one year, two years or more? Perhaps we'll find out with a government announcement in the next month regarding its OGP commitment.
Or perhaps all we can expect is ongoing silence. Either way, it is disappointing to see the Australian Government fail to live up to the high standards of openness and transparency that our politicians espouse as a core requirement for our national democracy.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
The great Open Government Partnership silence
Craig Thomler on eGov AU is also scratching his head: