The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is launching an exciting new pilot program designed to more proactively involve subnational governments in the initiative. OGP is a 69 country partnership aiming to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. OGP is looking for subnational governments with committed political and working level reformers, and engaged and energetic partners in civil society, to take part in a pilot program designed to advance open government reform.

Ontario, Canada was one of the subnational governments that successfully applied to engage directly with OGP in a pilot 'pioneer' program. Participants will receive dedicated assistance and advice from the OGP Support Unit and OGP Steering Committee to develop and fulfill independent open government commitments in action plans, in partnership with civil society organisations. They will actively contribute to peer learning and networking activities with other subnational governments. The commitments and short action plans developed by the pioneers will be assessed by OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). The pilot will give OGP the opportunity to test and assess the IRM’s capacity to act as the accountability mechanism for subnational government participation.

The following text is from Ontario's application letter, available below as an image.

 

Treasury Board Secretariat

Office of the President

99 Wellesley Street West Room 4320, Whitney Block Toronto, ON M7A 1W3

Tel.: 416-327-2333 Fax: 416-327-3790

Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor

Bureau du président

99, rue Wellesley Ouest Édifice Whitney, bureau 4320 Toronto, ON M7A 1W3

Tél. : 416 327-2333 Téléc. : 416 327-3790

March 3, 2016

To the Open Government Partnership steering committee,

I am pleased to submit this application on behalf of the Government of Ontario to join the subnational government pilot program.

As the Deputy Premier of Ontario, I have the honour of leading our government’s ambitious Open Government initiative, which Premier Kathleen Wynne launched in 2013. Building a more open and transparent government is a key part of my mandate. My mandate letter and progress update, as well as those of all Cabinet ministers, have been posted online.

Ontario has a track record of upholding Open Government principles and a strategy in place to become more open, accountable and transparent to the people we serve. I believe our accomplishments and strong commitment make us an ideal candidate for the Pioneers’ tier of this pilot program.

Since we embarked on our Open Government journey, we’ve worked hard to harness new perspectives and fresh ideas, starting with the appointment of Ontario’s Open Government Engagement Team. This team of renowned public engagement and digital experts consulted with people across the province to determine how government can be more open, transparent and accessible. Their report and recommendations formed the foundation for Ontario’s Open Government strategy and action plan.

Through our Open Government plan, we’re focused on:

• Engaging a broader range of Ontarians to inform decisions that impact their daily lives;

• Working with businesses and public sector partners to share high-value data and support innovation; and

• Ensuring Ontarians have access to government information and services through interactive digital tools.

We’re taking a whole-of-government approach in implementing this plan, which is being driven through a dedicated team of professionals within Ontario’s Open Government Office. We also recognize the importance of culture change when it comes to driving Open Government principles throughout our organization. To that end, I’m working with my Cabinet colleagues to develop and advance ministry- specific Open Government plans with a focus on building capacity among public servants and delivering tangible outcomes for the public.

You can learn more about our Open Government plan and progress in the following pages and at www.Ontario.ca/Open.

I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made to date and excited to move forward to make our government even more responsive to the 13 million people who call Ontario home. As Canada’s largest, most diverse and resourceful province, this subnational pilot program is a terrific opportunity to advance our commitment and to collaborate more closely with our federal, provincial and municipal partners.

The Province of Ontario would be a strong champion for subnational governments in the partnership by sharing its experience and lessons learned from implementing a wide range of open dialogue, data and information initiatives, along with its efforts to implement public service culture change.

My team and I look forward to staying in touch with the committee as you develop the pilot program. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Kind regards,

Deb Matthews Deputy Premier President of the Treasury Board Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

cc. Premier Kathleen Wynne

Deputy Minister and Secretary of the Treasury Board, Greg Orencsak

The rest of Ontario's application materials are available here:

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