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Australia

Enhance Public Engagement Skills in the Public Service (AU0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Australia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Support Institution(s): Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (APS Reform team). All Australian Government departments will be made aware of the work through inclusion on the working Agenda of the APS Reform Committee (Policy, Data and Innovation stream) Information and Privacy Commission NSW OGP International’s Deliberative Processes Practice Group includes four other countries and public sector and civil society representatives from each. In addition: IAP2, New Democracy, Ope Australia Foundation, Open Government Partnership Network

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Enhance public engagement skills in the public service
Commitment Start and End Date
September 2078-August 2020
Lead implementing agency/actor
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
Public policy problems are increasingly complex and this complexity is occurring in an environment of declining trust in government.
Numerous reviews. senior public servants and academics have emphasised that the APS can reduce the complexity and build trust by bringing more people and expertise into its work when they are needed. Better approaches might allow the APS to translate the best technical. academic and practical advice into accessible. policy and programme relevant conclusions.
However. awareness and practical experience of how to engage the community beyond traditional information sharing and consultation is patchy. There are good examples of more collaborative approaches. but this is not the norm. Rather. APS engagement often has an emphasis on obtaining buy-in rather than accessing expertise. And the APS still lags behind adoption of better engagement compared to local. state and international jurisdictions. In particular. the APS has a gap in its capability to undertake deliberative. open and collaborative engagements.
What is the commitment?
Develop and implement an Open Dialogue Roadmap: Australia will co-chair and take a leading role in the development of an Open Dialogue Roadmap, through OGP lnternational's Deliberative Processes Practice Group. The Roadmap will consist of a briefing booklet making the argument for deliberation and a how to guide. It will assist public servants to design and implement open and deliberative engagement processes.
The Establishment of an APS Engagement Hub: The Hub would be. in the first instance. a digital space. It will ensure the initiatives under the first Action Plan's Commitment 5.2 framework are delivered. It will tie together elements of the framework and create a landing point for guidance. advice and support. It will be iterated over time and has the potential to integrate engagement efforts across the APS.
Over time the Hub could act as a platform for general interaction between civil society and the APS. User research will be undertaken to inform the design of this element of the Hub. with findings reported to the Open Government Forum.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
The use of open dialogue and deliberative processes are proven ways to improve public sector engagement awareness and capability and foster an Open Government culture. Similarly, the development of a digital hub to provide a platform for knowledge management and retention. as well as the delivery of expertise and resources offer a proven method for building capability and raising awareness.
Open and deliberative processes differ from traditional approaches to consultation by enabling richer communication between. across and among public sector agencies and their respective publics. Moreover. it offers a means of supporting more sustained forms of engagement rather than traditional event­ driven approaches.
This is achieved through a rules-based exchange of ideas and information that focuses on responding to a question and/or resolving an issue. In doing so. this type of process provides a more effective way of solving complex and contentious policy issues that have competing interests and the negotiation of trade-offs.
These processes have already been successfully applied to radioactive waste (Commonwealth). Sports policy (Canada). Reproductive rights (Republic of Ireland) and Dog and Cat Management (South Australia).
The development of this roadmap will boost engagement capability, both in Australia and overseas. In particular. it will raise awareness and build a shared understanding of how deliberative processes work. why they are important to modern governments. and when they can be used effectively. It will include a step by step guide on how to undertake deliberative engagements. as well as a Briefing Book that provides accessible answers to the top questions about public deliberation that are likely to be asked by political or senior public service decision makers.
Implementation of the roadmap will be via the development and testing of a demonstration open dialogue capability.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
This commitment will have a broad range of impacts. and specifically advances the OGP values of:
• civic participation and transparency by allowing further access to information to ensure meaningful input from interested members of the public into decisions; citizens· right to have their voices heard: and opening up decision making to more interested members of the public: and
technology and innovation for openness and accountability by promoting new technologies that offer opportunities for information sharing, public participation and collaboration; and making more information public in ways that enable people to both understand what their governments do and to influence decisions.
Additional Information
Builds on Commitment 5.2 of the first National Action Plan
The Roadmap is also include in the proposed work agenda for the APS Reform Committee (Policy, Data and Innovation stream).
Milestone activity with verifiable deliverable
Establish the Engagement Hub
7/1/2018 – 12/31/2019
User research on design of the hub
7/1/2018 – 3/31/2019
Publicly release Open Dialogue and Deliberation Booklet
7/31/2018 – 3/31/2019
Publicly release the Practical How To Guide
1/1/2019 – 3/31/2020
Contact information
Contacts
Open Government Partnership Section, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Email and Phone
ogp@industry.gov.au
Other Actors Involved
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (APS Reform team). All Australian Government departments will be made aware of the work through inclusion on the working Agenda of the APS Reform Committee (Policy, Data and Innovation stream)
Information and Privacy Commission NSW
OGP International’s Deliberative Processes Practice Group includes four other countries and public sector and civil society representatives from each.
In addition: IAP2, New Democracy, Ope Australia Foundation, Open Government Partnership Network


Commitments

  1. Strengthen Anti-Corruption Framework

    AU0016, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  2. Political Donation Transparency

    AU0017, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  3. Data Sharing

    AU0018, 2018, E-Government

  4. Improve Public Service Practice

    AU0019, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Access to Information

    AU0020, 2018, OGP

  6. Enhance Public Engagement Skills in the Public Service

    AU0021, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Independent Review of the Australian Public Service

    AU0022, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. Expand Open Contracting

    AU0023, 2018, E-Government

  9. Whiste-Blower Protections

    AU0001, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  10. Beneficial Ownership Transparency

    AU0002, 2016, Beneficial Ownership

  11. Extractive Industries Transparency

    AU0003, 2016, Beneficial Ownership

  12. Combating Corporate Crime

    AU0004, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  13. Data Innovation

    AU0005, 2016, E-Government

  14. Public Trust in Data Sharing

    AU0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Digitization of Government Services

    AU0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Information Management and Access Laws

    AU0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Freedom of Information

    AU0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Access to Government Data

    AU0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Electoral System and Political Parties

    AU0011, 2016, Money in Politics

  20. National Integrity Framework

    AU0012, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  21. Open Contracting

    AU0013, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. OGP NAP

    AU0014, 2016, OGP

  23. Public Participation

    AU0015, 2016, Capacity Building