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United Kingdom

Ongoing Collaborative Approach to Open Government Reform (UK0075)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United Kingdom – Third National Action Plan 2016-18

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Cabinet Office and Involve

Support Institution(s): UK government departments and UK Parliament. In consultation with colleagues in Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government and Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly; UK Open Government Network, National Council of Voluntary Organisation (NCVO)

Policy Areas

E-Government, OGP, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: United Kingdom End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, United Kingdom Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Objective: Ensure the UK Open Government Partnership (OGP) remains a key platform for ongoing dialogue, collaboration and open government reform, with governments, parliaments and civil society across the UK. Status quo: The development of this action plan has again demonstrated the benefits of an open and collaborative approach to policy making. Through working with partners from government, Parliament and civil society across the UK, the plan has benefited from a large range of ideas, challenge, expertise, creativity and energy. The result is a more ambitious and comprehensive set of commitments than would have been developed by government alone. The OGP has helped to inspire and focus government and civil society collaboration on open government reform in the UK. However, the two-year timescale of an action plan can mean that: the political or policy window for potential commitments is missed, activity and collaboration happens in bursts rather than consistently, the OGP process happens in parallel to other domestic or multilateral processes. We want to address these weaknesses and build on the success of the OGP in the UK by embedding an ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform. Ambition: As well as being the beneficiaries of open government, citizens and civil society are key to bringing the transformation about. We want the OGP in the UK to be the platform for ongoing dialogue, collaboration and open government reform, and this partnership to include increasing numbers of citizens, civil society organisations and public institutions.To support this we will: be approaching this action plan as a rolling plan, where new commitments are developed and added over its lifespan, continue to work collaboratively across governments, parliaments and the wider public sector in all nations of the UK, broaden engagement with civil society and citizens to ensure that we are focusing efforts on issues that matter most, engage with civil society and citizens on an ongoing basis, having honest conversations about progress across open government and collaboratively identifying, developing and implementing new reforms

IRM End of Term Status Summary

13. Ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform

Commitment Text:Identify, develop and implement robust and ambitious open government commitments on an ongoing basis through collaboration with partners in governments, parliaments and civil society across the UK.

Objective:Ensure the UK Open Government Partnership (OGP) remains a key platform for ongoing dialogue, collaboration and open government reform, with governments, parliaments and civil society across the UK.

Status quo:The development of this action plan has again demonstrated the benefits of an open and collaborative approach to policy making. Through working with partners from government, Parliament and civil society across the UK, the plan has benefited from a large range of ideas, challenge, expertise, creativity and energy.

The result is a more ambitious and comprehensive set of commitments than would have been developed by government alone. The OGP has helped to inspire and focus government and civil society collaboration on open government reform in the UK. However, the two-year timescale of an action plan can mean that:

The political or policy window for potential commitments is missed

Activity and collaboration happens in bursts rather than consistently

The OGP process happens in parallel to other domestic or multilateral processes

We want to address these weaknesses and build on the success of the OGP in the UK by embedding an ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform.

Ambition:As well as being the beneficiaries of open government, citizens and civil society are key to bringing the transformation about.

We want the OGP in the UK to be the platform for ongoing dialogue, collaboration and open government reform, and this partnership to include increasing numbers of citizens, civil society organisations and public institutions.

To support this we will:

Be approaching this action plan as a rolling plan, where new commitments are developed and added over its lifespan

Continue to work collaboratively across governments, parliaments and the wider public sector in all nations of the UK

Broaden engagement with civil society and citizens to ensure that we are focussing efforts on issues that matter most

Engage with civil society and citizens on an ongoing basis, having honest conversations about progress across open government and collaboratively identifying, developing and implementing new reforms

Milestones:

1. Government and civil society will work together to develop and communicate an approach to implementation that supports transparency on progress of implementing commitments and provides forums for engagement at all levels to hold government to account

2. We will identify priority stakeholders and policy areas to inform an approach to broadening engagement and the priority focus for future commitments, including identifying platforms for communicating open government policy

3. The UK Open Government Civil Society Network will review its governance, terms of reference and working practices to ensure that it is able to continue to effectively build, involve and represent a broad membership

4. Commitments will be updated with new milestones as necessary to provide further clarity on agreed approaches to take work forward work

5. New commitments will be published at a minimum of two points in the two-year plan cycle. These will be developed through a co-creation process with civil society, meeting the OGP criteria for starred commitments

Responsible institution: Cabinet Office and Involve

Supporting institutions: Involve UK government departments and UK Parliament. In consultation with colleagues in Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government and Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. UK Open Government Network, National Council of Voluntary Organisation (NCVO)

Start date: May 2016

End date: June 2018

Commitment Aim:

This commitment was designed to strengthen the joint government-civil society OGP process in the UK. As the commitment text points out, some commitments or proposals can be lost because of the two-year window for implementation. While many of those involved saw relations as collaborative, there is still room for improvement.[Note 130: Cabinet Office, Self-assessment online survey - summary of results, online survey September 2017.]

The commitment was shared between the UK Cabinet Office, the coordinating CSO Involve and UK devolved bodies, and involves a series of changes including an agreement to close working between government and CSOs, extending the network and creating a ‘rolling' programme of commitments and milestones to maintain momentum.[Note 131: Meeting between CSO and government, telephone conference call, July 2017.] The key was to help identify priority stakeholders and bring them in.[Note 132: Interview with Thom Townsend and William Gerry, Cabinet Office, 14 September 2017.]

Status

Midterm: Substantial

Following a series of meetings, CSOs and government released a joint statement to:

• Collaborate in identifying, developing and implementing new reforms throughout the period of the action plan;

• Engage on an ongoing basis, having honest conversations about progress across open government; and

• Broaden the number of citizens and civil society organisations who actively engage in open government activities and who hold government to account. [Note 133: Tim Hughes, ‘Statement on ongoing government and civil society collaboration on open government', http://www.opengovernment.org.uk/2016/10/07/statement-on-ongoing-government-and-civil-society-collaboration-on-open-government/ ]

The milestone on identifying areas for new commitments with new stakeholders led to a discussion in November 2016, during which civil society representatives highlighted the importance of reflecting the priorities of citizens and the government.[Note 134: UK government, ‘OGP UK National Action Plan 2016/18 Commitment progress update, December 2016. ] The Cabinet Office published an open record of events and key publications, but it covers events only into 2017. The review of the UK Open Government Civil Society Network was completed and overseen by CSO Involve.[Note 135: Tim Hughes, ‘Terms of Reference of the UK Open Government Network', http://www.opengovernment.org.uk/resource/terms-of-reference-of-the-uk-open-government-network/ ]

In December 2016, the OGP process was rolled out to include a further four commitments for Northern Ireland, nine for Wales and one for Scotland, more than doubling the number of commitments and broadening involvement by civil society actors in the respective countries.[Note 136: Interview with Thom Townsend and William Gerry, Cabinet Office, 14 September 2017. ] This was not what some of the CSOs imagined. Some organisations saw the commitment as a way of introducing new, perhaps symbolic, policies outside of the formal OGP-IRM process to maintain momentum.[Note 137: Meeting between CSO and government, telephone conference call, July 2017.]

End of Term: Complete

Since the midterm review, officials have organised regular meetings of the multi-stakeholder group every four months, as well as an annual meeting with the minister responsible for OGP. Meetings were regularly attended by the CSO representatives. In addition, the UK government emphasised the importance of informal contacts with leads and individuals which, though hard to capture, had played an important part in the overall process. The UK government and civil society representatives were also part of a 10 April meeting in Scotland - see the update on Scotland for more details.[Note 138: Interview with Katie Holder and Thom Townsend, DCMS, 8 August 2018.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

The commitment was designed to improve co-ordination between CSOs and government and maintain the momentum for change across the two-year period. Though the commitment did not directly open government, the inclusion of all four nations of the UK in the process and the subsequent effects, leading to stronger networks, more commitments and a cross-UK summit on open government led by Scotland, all had an impact indirectly on access to information by highlighting the policy and generating discussion and ideas. There was also openness on a more day-to-day basis with the publication of meetings, meeting notes and a timeline of government action in a more systematic way than had happened previously in other action plans.

Carried Forward?

The commitment was not carried forward. The UK government's consultation on the national action plan for Open Government 2018-2020 proposed a further commitment around ‘public participation in digital and data policy development' that covers similar themes and aims (though this is a suggestion and not government policy) .[Note 139: UK Government (2018), Consultation draft of the national action plan for Open Government 2018 – 2020, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XGUs6X8EHSOm00U-rX2_8cAoq7MnDsBjnetQeW0vnzA/edit#heading=h.y5i6179pcs8d ]


United Kingdom's Commitments

  1. Grants Data

    UK0090, 2019, E-Government

  2. Public Participation

    UK0091, 2019, E-Government

  3. Open Policy Making

    UK0092, 2019, Public Participation

  4. Open Contracting Data

    UK0093, 2019, E-Government

  5. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0094, 2019, E-Government

  6. Innovation in Democracy Programme

    UK0095, 2019, Public Participation

  7. Sustainable Open Government

    UK0096, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Local Transparency

    UK0097, 2019, E-Government

  9. Beneficial Ownership – UK

    UK0063, 2016, Beneficial Ownership

  10. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0064, 2016, Extractive Industries

  11. Anti-Corruption Strategy

    UK0065, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  12. Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub

    UK0066, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  13. Open Contracting

    UK0067, 2016, E-Government

  14. Grants Data

    UK0068, 2016, E-Government

  15. Elections Data

    UK0069, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Revising Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice

    UK0070, 2016, Open Contracting and Procurement

  17. Identifying and Publishing Core Data Assets

    UK0071, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  18. Involving Data Users in Shaping the Future of Open Data

    UK0072, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Better Use of Data Assets

    UK0073, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. GOV.UK

    UK0074, 2016, Open Data

  21. Ongoing Collaborative Approach to Open Government Reform

    UK0075, 2016, E-Government

  22. Open Government at All Levels

    UK0076, 2016, OGP

  23. Open Policy-Making and Public Engagement

    UK0077, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Public Sector Innovation

    UK0078, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. OCDS Implementation

    UK0079, 2016, E-Government

  26. Open-Up Government

    UK0080, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Open Data Plan

    UK0081, 2016, E-Government

  28. Open Data Service

    UK0082, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Statswales

    UK0083, 2016, E-Government

  30. Data Research Centre Wales

    UK0084, 2016, E-Government

  31. Government Social Research Publication Protocol

    UK0085, 2016, E-Government

  32. Gov.Wales

    UK0086, 2016, E-Government

  33. Code of Practice in Supply Chains

    UK0087, 2016, Labor

  34. Starred commitment National Indicators for Wales

    UK0088, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Starred commitment Well-Being Duty

    UK0089, 2016, E-Government

  36. National Information Infrastructure

    UK0042, 2013, Records Management

  37. NHS England Website and Network

    UK0043, 2013, Health

  38. Revised Local Authories Data Transparency Code

    UK0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Transparent Social Investment Market

    UK0045, 2013, Open Data

  40. Manage and Capture Digital Records

    UK0046, 2013, Capacity Building

  41. Starred commitment Cross-Government Anti-Corruption Plan

    UK0047, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  42. Starred commitment Company Beneficial Ownership Information

    UK0048, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  43. Access to Police Records

    UK0049, 2013, Justice

  44. Transparency in Construction

    UK0050, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  45. Legislative Openness

    UK0051, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  46. Whistleblowing

    UK0052, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  47. Open Contracting

    UK0053, 2013, Open Contracting and Procurement

  48. Open Contracting Scotland

    UK0054, 2013, E-Government

  49. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency

    UK0055, 2013, Aid

  50. Health Care Data

    UK0056, 2013, Health

  51. Open Policy Making

    UK0057, 2013, E-Government

  52. Sciencewise

    UK0058, 2013, E-Government

  53. Publication of Draft Legislation

    UK0059, 2013, Legislature

  54. Opendatacommunities Programme

    UK0060, 2013, E-Government

  55. PSI Re-Use Directive

    UK0061, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  56. Starred commitment Extractive Transparency

    UK0062, 2013, E-Government

  57. Ensuring a Clear Process to Support Reduction in Collection of ‘Unnecessary Data’

    UK0024, 2011, E-Government

  58. Developing Data.Gov.Uk and Identifying Other Digital Channels to Support Users

    UK0025, 2011,

  59. Evidence and Databases Behind Policy Statements

    UK0026, 2011, E-Government

  60. Data Underlying Surveys

    UK0027, 2011, E-Government

  61. Examining Ways for Improving the Use of Existing Published Data

    UK0028, 2011, E-Government

  62. Stimulate the Market for Innovative Use of Open Data

    UK0029, 2011, Open Data

  63. Spend up to 5% of Budget Support on Accountability

    UK0030, 2011, E-Government

  64. Include the OGP Eligibility Criteria to Determine Readiness for UK Budget Support

    UK0031, 2011, Aid

  65. Publish Aid Information from All ODA Government Departments

    UK0032, 2011, Aid

  66. Use a Single Domain for Government Services

    UK0033, 2011, E-Government

  67. Mandate ‘Channel Shift’

    UK0034, 2011, E-Government

  68. Go Online for All Consultations

    UK0035, 2011, E-Government

  69. Develop Practical Guidelines on Departmental Access to Internet and Social Media

    UK0036, 2011, Civic Space

  70. Open Data and Application Interfaces in Ways That Encourage Businesses

    UK0037, 2011, E-Government

  71. Create Cross-Government Standards on APIs

    UK0038, 2011,

  72. Establish Standardised Formats for User-Satisfaction Data

    UK0039, 2011, Records Management

  73. Provide Government Documents in Open Standard Format

    UK0040, 2011, E-Government

  74. Implement Crowd-Sourcing and Engagement Processes

    UK0041, 2011,

  75. New Power to Secure Release of Valuable Datasets

    UK0001, 2011,

  76. New, Higher Cost Cap for FOI

    UK0002, 2011, Right to Information

  77. Meaningful Disincentives

    UK0003, 2011,

  78. Maximum Time Limits

    UK0004, 2011, Right to Information

  79. Altered Procurement Rules

    UK0005, 2011,

  80. Mandating Phased Introduction of ‘Public by Default’

    UK0006, 2011, E-Government

  81. Formalising Public Data Principles

    UK0007, 2011, Records Management

  82. Having in Place an Open Data Compliance Monitoring Process

    UK0008, 2011, Records Management

  83. Making Clear the Minimum Citizens Can Expect on Publication and Quality of Data

    UK0009, 2011,

  84. Ensuring a Line of Continuous Improvement for Public Service Providers

    UK0010, 2011, Open Data

  85. Encourage Continuous Improvement

    UK0011, 2011, Records Management

  86. Setting Out How Citizens Can Challenge Where There Is Failure in the Process

    UK0012, 2011, Public Participation

  87. Establishing an Obligation to Consider and Act on User Feedback

    UK0013, 2011, Public Participation

  88. Making Clear That Licenses Must Cover Free, Commercial Re-Use

    UK0014, 2011,

  89. Merge Information Asset Registers…Into a Single Data Inventory

    UK0015, 2011,

  90. Set Consistent Expectations of the Appropriate Quality of Meta-Data

    UK0016, 2011, Records Management

  91. For Data Co-Ordinated Across Government, Set Definitions

    UK0017, 2011, E-Government

  92. Introducing Corporate Responsibility at Transparency Board Level

    UK0018, 2011, Records Management

  93. Strengthening and Broadening the Public Sector Transparency Board

    UK0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  94. Bringing the Sector Transparency Board Model to Other Parts of Public Sector

    UK0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  95. Reviewing the Existing Governance and Regulatory Model

    UK0021, 2011, Records Management

  96. Establishing a Framework for Public Service Providers Data Inventories

    UK0022, 2011, Records Management

  97. Developing a Clear Methodology to Support Intelligent Inventories

    UK0023, 2011, Records Management