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2020 Government Steering Committee Elections

Updated October 1, 2020

I. Overview

Three government seats were up for election in the Steering Committee (SC) as the current terms of Canada, Italy and South Africa came to an end. Out of these three SC members, South Africa was not eligible to run for reelection as it has already served the maximum allowed two consecutive terms, as outlined in the OGP Articles of Governance.

II. Results

Four candidates, Canada, Italy, Kenya and the UK, stood for election. As outlined in this year’s election process, due to the OGP’s regional balance system (see Section V below), the Governments of Canada and Kenya would be automatically selected regardless of the voting results. However, given that there would be a single vacant seat for the European region, only one of the two European candidates (Italy or the UK) would be selected as determined by the highest number of points received.

Voting concluded on May 25, with 82% of eligible OGP governments participating in the election. The voting process was administered by an external company, Civiciti, and the Support Unit received only the final tally results so as to safeguard the secrecy of the ballots and the integrity of the election. As in previous years, the election was done through a ranked voting system in which voters ranked candidates by preference. The top-ranked candidate received 4 points, while second place received 3 points, third place 2 points and fourth place 1 point. The final results are outlined in the table below.

With these considerations, we are pleased to announce that the governments of Canada, Italy and Kenya have been elected by their peers to three-year terms on the OGP Steering Committee beginning on October 1, 2020.

Candidate Total Points 1st Place Votes 2nd Place Votes 3rd Place Votes 4th Place Votes
Canada 155 8 21 27 6
Italy 186 32 8 12 10
Kenya 109 4 11 13 34
UK 170 18 22 10 12

III. SC Co-Chair Election Results

SC leadership is composed of a revolving four-member co-chairmanship team (two from government and two from civil society) elected by members of the SC. The four co-chairs make up the Governance and Leadership Subcommittee (GL). SC co-chairs serve for a two-year term, with the first year as ‘incoming’ and the second as ‘lead’ chairs. New Co-Chairs begin their first year on October 1, 2020.

All interested candidates were asked to submit a letter of candidacy outlining their proposed agendas by responding to the following guiding questions:

Government Co-chair candidacy guiding questions:

  1. What priorities will your government drive during its OGP chairmanship to advance OGP goals?
  2. How will your government demonstrate leadership of OGP at the international level during your chairmanship, and what actions can it take to foster a more cohesive leadership body within the Steering Committee?
  3. How do you plan to further advance your domestic open government agenda and lead by example during your chairmanship role?
  4. Which Ministry will lead your OGP chairmanship (if different from current OGP Ministry)? How do you envision the role and involvement of other government bodies, including your head of state/government, foreign ministry and diplomatic networks, and other ministries to advance your OGP priorities and promote OGP globally.

Two candidates, Italy and Nigeria, applied to serve as co-chair of the SC beginning October 1, 2020. As outlined in this year’s election process, an anonymous and secure vote was held to determine the next co-chair.

Voting concluded on September 15 with 90% of eligible Steering Committee members casting a ballot. We are pleased to announce that the government of Italy has been elected as the incoming co-chair of the Steering Committee beginning October 1, 2020.

Country Total Votes
Italy 11
Nigeria 8

IV. Overview of the OGP Steering Committee

The SC is OGP’s executive, decision-making body. Its role is to develop, promote and safeguard OGP’s values, principles and interests. It also establishes OGP’s core ideas, policies, and rules and oversees the functioning of the partnership.

The SC is composed of 22 members (11 from national governments and 11 from civil society), with parity maintained between the two constituencies. The SC has three standing subcommittees to support its work, the Governance and Leadership Subcommittee (GL), the Criteria and Standards Subcommittee (C&S) and the Thematic Leadership Subcommittee (TLS). Each subcommittee comprises equal numbers of government and civil society representatives drawn from the SC.

Some of the key responsibilities of the SC include:

  • Set OGP’s agenda and direction with principled commitment to the founding nature and goals of the initiative;
  • Lead by example through upholding OGP values, adhering to OGP processes to co-create and implement ambitious open government reforms, and fulfilling financial support of OGP.
  • Advance OGP priorities through their participation in the Global OGP Summit, OGP regional and thematic events, and other international opportunities to promote open government;
  • Actively participate in Steering Committee and Subcommittee meetings (in-person and virtually), with Ministerial representation when necessary (at least once per year).

SC members serve for a term of three years and are eligible to serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms.  SC members seeking a second term must be reelected to stay on the SC. All SC terms begin on October 1 of the year in which they are elected. To learn more about the SC, please see here.

V. Current Makeup and Regional Balance

The current makeup of the SC is as follows:

Government Region Current Term Ends  Eligible for re-election in 2020?
Argentina (Lead Co-Chair 2019-2020) Americas 2021 (first term) N/A
Canada  Americas 2020 (first term ends September 30, 2020) Yes
France Europe 2021 (second term) N/A
Georgia Asia-Pacific 2022 (second term) N/A
Germany Europe 2022 (first term) N/A
Indonesia Asia – Pacific 2022 (first term) N/A
Italy Europe 2020 (first term ends September 30,  2020) Yes
Kenya (Incoming SC Member) Africa N/A N/A
Nigeria Africa 2021 (first term) N/A
Romania Europe 2021 (second term) N/A
South Africa  Africa 2020 (second term ends September 30, 2020) No: Served maximum two consecutive terms allowed
South Korea (Incoming Co-Chair 2020 – 2021) Asia-Pacific 2021 (first term) N/A

According to the OGP Articles of Governance, the SC should be comprised of a minimum of one and a maximum of four governments from each of the four regions (Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe). For 2019, the maximum possible vacant seats for each region are Africa (2); Americas (2); Asia-Pacific (3); and Europe (1).

If there are insufficient candidates from each region to meet the regional quotas, then the government with the next highest number of votes will join the SC, regardless of the region.

VI. Criteria to Run for a Government Seat in the Steering Committee

The criteria to run for a seat in the SC is as follows:

  1. Improved or maintained their Eligibility Scores since submitting a letter of intent to join OGP;
  2. Acted in accordance with the OGP Declaration;
  3. Acted in accordance with OGP processes for the most recently completed Action Plan cycle (i.e. the country must not have acted Contrary to Process through any of the four triggers):
    1. The country does not publish an Action Plan within 4 months of the due date (by December 31).
    2. The government does not meet the International International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Involve” requirement during development or “Inform” during implementation of the Action Plan as assessed by the IRM.
    3. The government fails to collect, publish and document a repository on the national OGP website/webpage in line with IRM guidance.
    4. The IRM Report establishes that there was no progress made on implementing any of the commitments in the country’s Action Plan.
  4. Paid their financial contribution to OGP; and
  5. Complied with the minimum participation and co-creation standards.

In addition to the above requirements, current government members of the SC running for re-election must have regularly attended and participated actively in meetings of the SC and the SC subcommittees with Ministerial-level participation.

Note: Regarding the financial contributions criteria, for the 2020 elections, all governments, with the exception of those who have consecutively acted contrary to OGP process or values, are permitted to participate. This recommendation follows the precedent of the 2018 and 2019 elections which would otherwise prevent more than half of all OGP members from participating, thus potentially undermining the credible and democratic nature of this process. A review of these criteria will be undertaken in 2020.

VII. Timeline for the 2020 elections

Date Process Step
January 13 2020 election process launched
March 6 Deadline for governments to submit candidacy statements
March 9 – 13 GL endorsement of candidates
April 27 – May 25 Voting period
May 29 Results announced
September 1 Deadline for co-chair expressions of interest
September 1 – 30 Co-chair selection period
Open Government Partnership