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Paris Declaration – Collective Actions to Accelerate Open Government

Contributions gathered on December 9th, 2016:

The Paris Declaration on Open Government was endorsed by the OGP Steering Committee during the OGP Global Summit in Paris in December 2016. The Declaration reaffirms OGP’s principles and values for openness based on the OGP Declaration, written and signed by all Steering Committee members. It consists of 20 collective actions which offer concrete ways to push open government reforms at the global, national and local levels across three thematic areas: transparency, integrity and anti-corruption; sustainable development and climate change; and common digital tools and capacity.

Transparency, integrity and anti-corruption

Climate change and sustainable development

Common digital tools and capacity

Transparency, integrity and anti-corruption

1. Open public procurement

Partners joining will make the public contracting process open by default, by publishing contract and contracting information, according to open data standards, to help tackle corruption, increase competitiveness, and improve service delivery. Partners will engage with civil society and business throughout the public procurement chain.

2. Ending abuse of anonymous companies

Partners will reduce the opacity around corporate ownership by collecting accurate, adequate, and timely basic and beneficial ownership information (including legal ownership information and trusts). In the interests of increased competitiveness, a level playing field for business, limiting fraud, and minimizing conflict of interest, countries may choose to achieve this goal through the creation of public registries of beneficial ownership that are open and free for use by all. Under this action, partners (governments, civil society, and the business community) may commit to working together to identify and promote best practices for collecting and making public beneficial ownership data.

Partners will also encourage and support other countries to implement beneficial ownership global standards, as promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force, and best practices including ensuring adequate, accurate, timely, and full access to law enforcement and those who have a legitimate need for it. This includes those working to help prevent abuse and to detect and fight corruption.

3. Innovation and data driven approaches to expose and fight corruption

Partners joining will develop new collaborations and exchange innovative approaches to tackle corruption. The use of new technology and data science (including open data) can strengthen the exposure of corrupt practices, help connect people and organizations – including national anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, international organizations, technology experts, lawyers, social innovators, and data scientists, and broadly accelerate the production and usability of data on corruption. Wherever possible, partners will share methods and contribute to the expansion of existing platforms to align forward-leaning complementary policy efforts and communities as well as to scale concrete projects, products and practices that contribute to the global fight against corruption.

4. Transparency on lobbying

Partners joining will establish frameworks and transparency measures to regulate lobbying, building on the work of the International Standards for Lobbying Regulation, deepening on the various regulations such as public registries of lobbyists and registries of meetings with senior public officials, integrity measures such as codes of conduct, and disclosure of conflict of interests to ensure more trust in decision-making processes.

5. Transparency on political party finance

Partners joining commit to ensuring the collection and timely pre-election publication of detailed information on the finances, interests, and related information of political parties and electoral candidates in open data formats, with regular publication of updates. Collection and publication of information will be overseen by an independent body, with investigation and sanction powers. Partners will do this in line with international standards, including the UN Convention against Corruption and the Declaration on Political Finance Openness. Partners will share best practices and tools that enable the easy publication and distribution of this data, so that people can follow the money in politics and identify corruption risks. Collection and publication of information will be overseen by an independent body, with investigation and sanction powers. Partners will share best practices and tools that enable the easy publication and distribution of this data, so that journalists, civil society organisations, and the public can follow the money in politics and identify corruption risks.

6. Access to information

Partners joining will implement our access to information laws to a high standard by training public officials, raising awareness, ensuring good record keeping and management, and improving rates of timely responses to requests. Partners will support the existence of effective appeals mechanisms and independent oversight bodies and will measure and report regularly on compliance with the Access to Information (ATI) law.

Partners will also expand proactive disclosure of public information, particularly that needed for participation in and accountability of public decision making. Partners will work toward ensuring that all government information is published in formats that the public can easily locate, understand, and use, and in formats that facilitate reuse. As the right of access to information is a transformative right and critical for sustainable development, partners will make particular efforts to ensure that comprehensible and meaningful information reaches all sectors of society, including the most marginalized populations, such as women. Partners will commit to sharing tools that they have developed to improve implementation and compliance of access to information laws.

As access to information laws are crucial to guarantee the public’s right to seek and receive information, partners—together with the OGP Access to Information Working Group—will assist OGP countries that do not have access to information legislation to adopt legislation, will support the improvement of existing laws guided by emerging standards on access to public information, and will promote good practices, so as to increase the availability of public information.

7. Transparency and participation in budgets and fiscal policies

Partners joining will improve public participation in the development and implementation of fiscal policy and budgeting, the dissemination of fiscal data in line with international good practices on budget transparency using open data formats, to popular dissemination of budget information through portals, citizen’s budgets or other means, and to fostering strong and independent supreme audit institutions. Partners will support legislative reform on country-by-country reporting and tax avoidance, evasion and avoidance.

8. Transparency and open contracts in the natural resource sector

Partners joining will publish the contracts, licenses or leases (including associated geospatial information) which detail the agreements made between companies and the government on natural resources and land projects and the sales of commodities, and we will improve the transparency of the processes through which those agreements are made, in line with the open contracting principles. Partners will also publish information and assessments on the potential social and environmental impacts of these projects, and improving accountability and participation in their environmental management.

9. Engaging citizens in an open and inclusive law-making process

Partners joining will build more open and inclusive law-making processes to strengthen our democracies, by engaging citizens via e-petitions, improved procedures for online comments on draft policies and legislation, and spaces in parliament and government (such as “hacker lab” spaces) to allow better co-creation with members of the public.

Climate change and sustainable development

10. Inclusive development of national and subnational climate and sustainable development strategies and plans

Partners joining will create inclusive, robust, and transparent public participation processes that are accessible to a wide range of stakeholders, including marginalized and vulnerable groups, and assuring the equitable engagement of women, for the design of national and subnational climate and sustainable development-relevant strategies, plans, and policies. This will contribute to transparent, participatory, and accountable implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular SDG target 16.7 aimed at ensuring “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels”.

11. Tracking climate relevant policy implementation and results

Partners joining will develop, using a participatory process, nationally-relevant milestones and indicators to track, and make publicly accessible, the implementation and results of climate and sustainable development policies, such as those associated with nationally determined contributions, 2020 pledges, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, and green growth/sustainable development strategies relevant for the SDGs. In cases where capacity is limited, an open process could help determine which policies would be prioritized for tracking.

12. Harnessing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development and Climate Risk Resilience

Data are critical for open governments and open societies to achieve sustainable development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to build resilience to the impacts of climate variability and change. Partners joining will collaborate to advance the legal, regulatory, or institutional mechanisms to enable the collection, management, and reporting of data to inform decision-making to advance sustainable development and build climate resilience. Where possible, partners will disclose government data in an open format, disaggregated for gender and vulnerable populations, using common standards for reporting and respecting privacy concerns. Partners will advance multi-stakeholder platforms to bring together multiple sources and types of data to harness the full potential of the data revolution for sustainable development. Partners will undertake, whole-of- governments, multi stakeholders’ efforts to assess data gaps and challenges, develop open reporting platforms, and chart SDG data roadmaps to fill gaps and build capacity to use data for decision-making, innovation, citizen engagement and mutual accountability. Partners will work to ensure that communities and governments at all levels have access to timely, relevant, and up-to-date information for climate risk management.

Moreover, partners will develop partnerships, with the private sector, universities, government administration and civil society organizations, to support and foster the use of data to address sustainable development challenges such as climate risk, vulnerability, poverty and inequalities. If all data cannot be open data due to privacy concerns, access to indicators computed thanks to sensitive data will be facilitated.

13. Supporting Justice for All through a focus on measurement and data collection

Partners joining will accelerate implementation of Goal 16 through sharing best practices on data collection and measurement on access to justice that can strengthen the justice sector and lay the foundation for wider collaboration on the use of open government to support the rule of law and access to justice. This responds to the call to “Ensure equal access to justice for all,” in Target 16.3 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and will require access to reliable data and the ability to measure the impact of justice interventions by governments and civil society on various populations over time as well as OGP’s Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

14. Policies and mechanisms to promote and strengthen engagement with civil society

In order to ensure that OGP’s underlying principles of civil society participation are protected and institutionalized, partners joining will create with civil society national permanent dialogue and participation mechanisms that enhance transparency around implementation of public policies and government actions, increase opportunity for civil society to play a stronger role in their monitoring and advancement, and promote greater diversity and inclusion of participants. Ongoing partnership between government and civil society in the shaping and advancement of national reforms is at the core of OGP’s multi-stakeholder theory of change, and safeguards against backsliding and closing space. Through collaboration on the establishment of successful dialogue mechanisms and best practices, this collective action will also provide an established fora for civil society organizations to engage governments in ensuring supportive operating environments for civil society more broadly.

15. Increase the responsiveness and accountability of public services to citizens

Partners joining will improve the health, education and wellbeing of citizens by increasing the accountability and responsiveness of the public services that are delivered to them. Partners will share expertise and tools to implement and scale successful practices, such as citizens charters, social audits and participatory budgeting.

Common digital tools and capacity

16. Opening and sharing civic technology tools for opening government

Partners joining will share and reuse software and online services used by governments and civil society around the world, including open data portals, public consultation platforms, tools for monitoring and co-creating the law, discussion forums, and online platforms to monitor the implementation of National Action Plans. These tools foster the dialogue between civil society and administration, to create more efficient public services and effective collaboration

17. Collaborative data infrastructures

Data has become a strategic infrastructure that is essential for social and economic development of a society (social inclusion, economic growth, service delivery). Partners joining will engage to produce and provide a core data infrastructure with the citizens enabling the society to benefit the most from it, while implementing the highest standards to protect the individuals’ rights.

18. Guiding principles for open data policies

Open data is a crucial part of more transparent, innovative, responsive and effective governments. Accessible, comparable and timely standardised information can support evidence-based policymaking, enhancing collaboration between citizens and governments worldwide. Therefore, partners joining will adopt and effectively implement the principles of the Open Data Charter to support open government and deliver National Action Plans.

19. Creating an Open Source Software policy

Open source software contributes to fostering transparency and collaboration. Source code is at the heart of digital and technical innovation. It is the primary means to providing high quality digital services. Partners joining will seek to promote transparency and accountability of open source code and algorithms they develop and use, wherever possible and appropriate. Partners joining will seek to design and implement them in non- discriminatory manners, and work towards maximizing the benefits of government code sharing and reuse.

20. Suggested new collective action : Transparency on international trade negotiations

Partners joining will make international negotiations more accountable by publishing key documents and data for citizens and civil society organizations to improve their understanding and oversight of such matters. Acknowledging these negotiations’ growing weight in public debate over the past few years, partners will ensure that the transparency of international talks increases over time.


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