Papua New Guinea Hybrid Report 2018-2021
- Action Plan: Papua New Guinea Action Plan 2018-2020
- Dates Under Review: 2018-2021
- Report Publication Year: 2022
The The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen... commitments may build on existing efforts, identify new steps to complete ongoing reforms, or initiate an entirely new area. OGP’s The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Civil society and government leaders use the evaluations to reflect on their progress and determine if efforts have impacted people’s lives.
The IRM has partnered with Maureen Thomas, an independent researcher, to carry out this evaluation. The IRM aims to inform ongoing dialogue around the development and implementation of future commitments. For a full description of the IRM’s methodology, please visit https://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/independent-reporting-mechanism.
This Hybrid Report covers Papua New Guinea’s first action plan for 2018–2021 (initially 2018–2020, but later extended until August 2021). In August 2021, the national multistakeholder forum had the opportunity to discuss a draft Design Report, but publication was delayed, and the implementation period was already completed. Therefore, this hybrid report combines an assessment of both the action plan’s design and implementation. It provides an independent review of OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... characteristics and strengths and challenges of the action plan. It offers an overall implementation assessment that focuses on policy-level results. It also checks compliance with OGP rules and informs accountability and longer-term learning.
Starting in January 2021, the IRM began rolling out the new products that resulted from the IRM Refresh process. The new approach builds on the lessons after more than 350 independent, evidence-based and robust assessments conducted by the IRM and the inputs from the OGP community. The IRM seeks to put forth simple, timely, fit for purpose and results-oriented products that contribute to learning and accountability in key moments of the OGP action plan cycle.
Overview of the Action Plan
Papua New Guinea’s first action plan included seven commitments with an emphasis on improving access to information and civic participation. However, commitment activities largely focused on policy development and provided limited information on how they would open government practice. Given uneven implementation, all commitments were carried forward to the next draft action plan.
|AT A GLANCE
Participating since: 2015
Action plan under review: 2018–2021
IRM product: Hybrid Report
Number of commitments: 7
Overview of commitments:
Emerging policy areas:
Compliance with OGP All OGP participating countries are expected to adhere to the Participation and Co-Creation Standards. Each Standard includes clear and measurable minimum requirements that all OGP participating count... for co-creation:
Acted contrary to OGP process: Yes
General Highlights and Results
Papua New Guinea became an OGP member country in 2015. This Hybrid Report covers design and implementation of Papua New Guinea’s first action plan for 2018–2021. The implementation period was initially planned for 2018–2020 and was extended to August 2021 due to COVID-19. The plan’s commitments focused on relevant policy areas but faced significant capacity challenges. Among the plan’s seven commitments, none were assessed as potentially transformative and only one had moderate potential impact. One of the commitments was substantially implemented and three were not started (43% of commitments). Papua New Guinea was found to be acting contrary to OGP process, having not published a repository in line with IRM guidance. In 2020, Papua New Guinea was placed under procedural review for failing to meet the OGP Core Eligibility Criteria for two consecutive years. Remaining below the minimum eligibility criteria by the 2022 annual update, or acting contrary to OGP process in any other way, could result in being designated as “inactive” in OGP.
Moving forward, the IRM recommends the following:
- Ensure the involvement of government agencies and representatives with relevant decision-making powers at both commitment design and implementation stages, and allocate sufficient resources and staffing to support a more effective implementation process.
- Broaden CSO engagement in the action plan. Ensure that those beyond the National The Steering Committee is OGP’s executive decision-making body. Its role is to develop, promote and safeguard OGP’s values, principles and interests; establish OGP’s core ideas, policies, and ru... have opportunities to participate in the ongoing process. Engage networks representing more diverse groups across Papua New Guinea and incorporate input from other national consultative processes into considerations on the OGP plan.
- Include a public comment period with full consideration of proposals and provision of reasoned responses. The government should document contributions from stakeholders and report back on how their contributions were considered while developing the action plan.
- Prioritize commitments on fiscal transparency, such as dialogue with citizens at central and local government levels, a citizen’s budget, and other steps initially planned in the first action plan’s Commitments 5 and 6. This should address OGP In order to join OGP, countries must exhibit a demonstrated commitment to open government values by meeting a set of minimum performance criteria across key dimensions of open government. In addition ....
- Publish a Access to relevant information is essential for enabling participation and ensuring accountability throughout the OGP process. An OGP repository is an online centralized website, webpage, platform or ... and meeting minutes, provide public updates on progress under the action plan, and launch a national OGP website backed up with a feature to allow the public to comment on action plan progress updates.
Overview of Design
The action plan was organized into four clusters on access to information, public participation, fiscal transparency, and extractive-resources transparency. The first cluster focused on introducing the necessary legal framework for access to information and creating data storage systems. The second cluster encompassed government engagement with the informal sector and civil society. The third cluster intended to improve the production, storage, and accessibility of fiscal data. The final cluster focused on improving transparency and accountability in the extractive resources sector.
Three of the commitments were noteworthy. Commitment 1 was assessed as having a moderate potential impact, intending to develop Creating and passing legislation is one of the most effective ways of ensuring open government reforms have long-lasting effects on government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or r... regulating access to information. Planned enabling legislation could have begun to translate constitutional freedom of information into practice. Commitments 3 and 4 were also promising, respectively planning to introduce an By opening up data and making it sharable and reusable, governments can enable informed debate, better decision making, and the development of innovative new services. Technical specifications: Polici... portal and a national strategy to give voice to informal economy participants. However, these commitments had minor potential impact.
Many of the shortfalls in the plan’s design relate to limited clarity on intended results and on how proposed actions would open government. Furthermore, the development of the action plan did not receive sufficient support from some key implementing agencies; only a few line ministries were involved in the Collaboration between government, civil society and other stakeholders (e.g., citizens, academics, private sector) is at the heart of the OGP process. Participating governments must ensure that a dive.... CSO representation was limited to groups represented at the national level, a challenge in a country with more than 800 languages and one of the lowest levels of urbanization in the world.
Overview of Implementation
Implementation faced significant challenges, including budgetary limitations. Agencies responsible for commitments reported that resource and financial restraints limited their ability to implement the plan. Unavailability of funds reportedly also discouraged some government agencies from meaningfully participating in meetings of the National Steering Committee and subcommittees. On a policy level, the government elected in 2019 remained committed to the open government agenda, but implementing the plan was not prioritized.
The action plan made some progress on two commitments for managing fiscal information and extractive-sector transparency, but fell short of producing any substantial changes to government practice. Commitment 6 made some progress on using an integrated financial management system, but it did not result in opening up any of the information to the public. Under Commitment 7, an Applying open government values of transparency, participation, and accountability to extractive industries can decrease corruption, safeguard community interests and needs, and support environmental ... Transparency Initiative policy was endorsed and the EITI Commission Bill was drafted, but was not passed by the end of the implementation period.
As for the remainder of commitments, implementation of planned initiatives was limited. For example, the intended access-to-information legislation did not progress as outlined by the action plan. Under Commitment 1, the Freedom of Information technical working committee instead approved development of the National The legal right to request information from the government allows the public to follow government decision-making, participate in ensuring better decisions, and hold the government accountable. Techni... Policy (2020-2030) to inform future drafting of the legislation. The planned open data portal (Commitment 3) was shelved when the government changed, with priorities shifting to focus on development of a cloud-based system for information sharing. As for Commitment 4, progress on developing a national strategy to give voice to informal economy participants was delayed. Given uneven implementation, all of the commitments were carried forward to the next draft action plan.
COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Implementation
COVID-19 decreased the frequency of National Steering Committee (NSC) meetings. Instead of quarterly meetings, NSC met twice in 2020 and once in 2021. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, there was already a lack of a resource allocation for the action plan’s implementation. However, the pandemic may have affected potential opportunities for resource allocation during the remainder of the implementation period.
 For more details regarding the IRM Refresh, visit: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/process/accountability/about-the-irm/irm-refresh/.
 OGP, “Procedural Review” (accessed Mar. 2022), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/procedural-review/.
 OGP, “IRM Guidance for Online Repositories” (1 Mar. 2020), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/irm-guidance-for-online-repositories/.
 Sanjay Pradhan (OGP), eligibility update letter to Rainbo Paita (Minister of Nat’l Planning and Monitoring for Papua New Guinea), 12 Jul. 2021, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Papua-New-Guinea_Eligibility-Update-Letter_20210712.pdf.
 Jessy Sekere and John Hera (Dept. of Information Communication Technology), interview by IRM researcher, 6 Dec. 2021; Johnson Hebe (National Procurement Commission), interview by IRM researcher, 24 Sep. 2021; Christopher Tabel (EITI Secretariat), interview by IRM researcher, 7 Aug. 2021.
 Magdelyn Taumpson (Constitutional and Law Reform Commission), interview by IRM researcher, 5 Sep. 2019.
 Yuambari Haihuie (Transparency International Papua New Guinea), correspondence with IRM researcher, 11 Oct. 2021.