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IRM releases Norwegian report for public comment

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The Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) has launched its fourth of eight reports; this one is on Norway and can be found below.

IRM progress reports are carried out by an independent researcher under the guidance of the International Experts’ Panel. In Norway, Christopher Wilson of The Engine Room and Joachim Nahem from the International Law and Policy Institute comprised the research team. The team carried out a consultative process, reviewing government progress with robust consultation with civil society. The goal of the IRM is to deliver credible, non-partisan description of the OGP process, results of commitments, and to provide technical recommendations based on the input of government, civil society, and the private sector.

The Norwegian action plan focused on areas in which Norway has had much success: transparency in finance and oil and gas revenue; open public sector and participatory government; and gender equality.

Usually, IRM reports evaluate commitment-by-commitment OGP implementation. This type of evaluation proved challenging in the Norwegian context because the action plan lacked clarity on specific commitments, a forward orientation, relevance to OGP values, and measurable indicators of progress.

Overall, Norway fell short of OGP’s requirements for process, making no consultation information available online, providing inadequate forewarning, and incorporating little stakeholder feedback into the plan.

As a consequence, the researchers recommend that the government improve awareness-raising activities around on-going consultations for OGP, and forward-looking, ambitious commitments in many of the areas where Norway has forward momentum such as recent freedom of information legislation, information and communications technology, and pension management.

All interested parties are encouraged to comment on this blog or to send public comments to IRM@opengovpartnership.org until November 14. Comments will be collated and published, except where the requester asks to be anonymous. Where relevant, comments will be integrated into a final version of the report.

Norway IRM Report 

Image source: Gudvangen, Norway, via Imgur

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