Having been quietly shelved two years ago, Australia’s plans to join the multilateral Open Government Partnership are being dusted off by Malcolm Turnbull and an announcement to formally sign-on is expected within weeks.Finance confirms responsibility for the OGP has transferred to Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and inquiries there are directed to Dr Heather Smith, Deputy Secretary (Projects).
Prime Minister Turnbull is understood to have considered a proposal last week to move ahead with the OGP, and the final discussions are underway to make that happen. The Prime Minister was expected to approve in-principal (sic) policy, which would provide direction for machinery of government negotiations which are currently underway and which will ultimate decide how Australia’s commitment to the program will be managed.
The OGP Steering Committee in July asked for an indication of Australia's intentions before the Global Summit in Mexico City 27-29 October.
A new strong commitment to the OGP would be welcome here and in international circles. Perhaps personally delivered or reinforced in Mexico City by say Minister for Communications and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Government Mitch Fifiield? But if a minister can't make it, Dr Smith would be a welcome first for Australia, a senior government representative in our seat at an OGP event.