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United Kingdom

Open Government at All Levels (UK0076)

Overview

At-a-Glance

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

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Scottish Government

Support Institution(s): Governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and Cabinet Office for UK and Open Government Partnership OGP Civil Society Networks from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and UK

Policy Areas

OGP, Public Participation, Subnational

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: To share learning across the UK in order to establish the effective
governance for Open Government commitments - through collaborative dialogue
between governments, civil society and experts.
Status quo: In reviewing the first five years of Open Government Partnership a
number of important themes emerged. Including the need to bring in new political
leadership and open government innovations from all levels of government; to
ensure that OGP commitments provide real improvement in people’s lives. They
also identified that only 2% of commitments worldwide are aimed at health or
education or climate change.
Scotland is one of 15 Pioneer governments at various levels worldwide who are
developing action plans and working with OGP to consider these questions.
Scotland will lead a collaborative discussion within the UK with governments, civil
society and experts to identify how best to support the spread of Open Government.
The changing nature of democracy and varying levels of devolution in United
Kingdom make it an ideal testing ground for beginning to develop a robust
framework which enables OGP action Plans to be developed at the level that is most
effective for the people they serve. So that they are able to tackle some of the most
significant societal issues in ways which will support the delivery of the sustainable
development goals by 2030.
Ambition: The result will be a draft framework to set out how OGP, governments
and civil society can ensure that commitments are ‘owned’ at the level of government
best able to deliver improvements while maintaining the core values and effective
partnership with civil society.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

1. Effective Open Government for governments at all levels (Scotland)

Commitment Text:Developing Effective Open Government for governments at all levels, through the outputs from one or more summit discussions.

Main objective:To share learning across the UK in order to establish the effective governance for Open Government commitments – through collaborative dialogue between governments, civil society and experts.

Status quo:in reviewing the first five years of Open Government Partnership a number of important themes emerged. Including the need to bring in new political leadership and open government innovations from all levels of government; to ensure that OGP commitments provide real improvement in people's lives. They also identified that only 2% of commitments worldwide are aimed at health or education or climate change.

Scotland is one of 15 Pioneer governments at various levels worldwide who are developing action plans and working with OGP to consider these questions. Scotland will lead a collaborative discussion within the UK with governments, civil society and experts to identify how best to support the spread of Open Government.

The changing nature of democracy and varying levels of devolution in United Kingdom make it an

ideal testing ground for beginning to develop a robust framework, which enables OGP Action Plans to be developed at the level that is most effective for the people they serve. This will mean they are able to tackle some of the most significant societal issues in ways which will support the delivery of the sustainable development goals by 2030.

Ambition:The result will be a draft framework to set out how OGP, governments and civil society can ensure that commitments are ‘owned' at the level of government best able to deliver improvements while maintaining the core values and effective partnership with civil society.

Milestone:

1. One or more summit meetings between governments, civil society, OGP and experts to explore the issues collaboratively

Responsible institution: Scottish Government

Supporting institutions: Governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and Cabinet Office for UK and Open Government Partnership OGP Civil Society Networks from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and UK

Start date: Spring 2017

End date: December 2017

Commitment Aim:

The commitment aimed to develop co-operation and share learning on open government reforms across the UK. Specifically, the commitment uses the OGP framework to create ‘one or more summit meetings between governments, civil society, OGP and experts to explore the issues collaboratively' from across the four nations of the UK. Scotland has its own Freedom of Information (FOI) law that differs slightly from the UK-wide law.[Note 140: The University of Edinburgh, ‘Freedom of Information in Scotland and the rest of the UK', http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/Legislation.aspx. For more on Scotland's separate OGP commitments, Andy McDevitt (2017), Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Scotland Final Report 2017.]

Overall, CSOs felt they were in a different place from a year previously when the pioneer status had been developed: for its promises of openness the Scottish government was ‘pursuing a very traditional approach to policy in tight circles' and neglecting possibilities around the link between public service reform and openness that they had previously championed.[Note 141: Interview with Ruchir Shah, SCVO, September 2017.]

Scotland is one of 15 participants of OGP's Subnational Government Pilot Program, created to recognise that ‘open government innovations and reforms are happening at the local level where governments can engage more directly with citizens and many crucial public services are delivered with their own'.[Note 142: OGP, ‘Subnational Government Pilot Program', https://www.opengovpartnership.org/subnational-government-pilot-program ] As a consequence, Scotland has a separate action plan running on a different timeframe (see the Scottish action plan for more details).[Note 143: Scotland's action plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/scotland-united-kingdom-action-plan]

This commitment called for holding a summit (or summits) where equivalent Ministers from across UK governments (Britain, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - as well as local government and elected mayors) can meet and discuss open government reforms with civil society. Ideally, the summit would encourage collaboration and, more specifically, develop ideas for the next action plan and future commitments.[Note 144: Interview with Doreen Grove and Emma Harvey, Scottish Government, 24 August 2017.] However, the methodology to be used to address relevant issues was not specified.

Status

Midterm: Limited

The commitment initially had a deadline of December 2017, but discussions took longer. As of November 2017, the Scottish Government reported that it had not proven possible to find a suitable date within the calendar year. As of early 2018, a date had been set for April 2018, outside of the time period for this report, but within the time period of the action plan.[Note 145: Scottish Government (2017), Scotland Narrative for inclusion in UK Open Government, National Action Plan Self-Assessment Report (update sent to author October 2017).]

End of Term: Complete

The first UK-wide summit took place on 10 April 2018. It included 45 ‘representatives of the UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland administrations, alongside local and regional governments and civil society representatives'.[Note 146: Niamh Webster (2018), Open Government Partnership Scotland hosts the first UK Open Government summit, 22 August 2018, https://blogs.gov.scot/open-government-partnership/2018/08/22/scotland-hosts-the-first-uk-open-government-summit/] There were speeches and presentations from village, city and national level government representatives, as well as OGP attendees.[Note 147: Interview with Doreen Grove and Emma Harvey, 22 May 2018.] As the post-summit analysis put it, the summit was intended as a space to discuss ‘their ambitions and common challenges' from their different perspectives.[Note 148: Niamh Webster (2018), Open Government Partnership Scotland hosts the first UK Open Government summit, 22 August 2018, https://blogs.gov.scot/open-government-partnership/2018/08/22/scotland-hosts-the-first-uk-open-government-summit/] The attendees looked into collective work and how to maintain momentum and ambition, as well as how change works. Topics in particular focused on cross level attempts around ‘openness, transparency and participation' and the need for ‘collective action' around how to ‘share learning and progress this agenda'. It was reported that there was an ‘appetite in the room to reconvene in a year's time to continue the discussion, or potentially other meet ups within the nations to prepare'.[Note 149: Ibid.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic participation: Marginal

The meeting in April 2018 increased awareness of access to information approaches and experiments across the UK and was also important as a forum to share lessons, experiences and ideas between activists and officials at different levels of government, from the lowest to highest level. It also increased civic participation by bringing together, for the first time, UK-based civil society groups and politicians in a single place. Though listed as ‘marginal', if repeated in the future such meetings could be more impactful.

Carried Forward?

The Scottish government was considering a follow-up commitment as part of the next action plan that would build on the meetings and networks made, based around ‘learning/collaboration', drawn up between the various UK administrations.

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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