Leading on Open Government in the UK
On 7th May the UK public went to the ballot box to elect a new government. David Cameron’s Conservative Party secured a majority of seats in Parliament and so formed a single party government. While the election result has not changed the leadership of the government, the shuffling of ministers in the aftermath has changed the leadership on the Open Government Partnership. Francis Maude, who has been a keen supporter of the initiative since the start, has been replaced by Matt Hancock as Minister for the Cabinet Office.
The UK Open Government Civil Society Network has produced a briefing for the new Minister for the Cabinet Office in which we set out how we believe this government can lead the open government agenda.
As the UK looks to the development of its third Open Government Partnership National Action Plan over the next six months, the leadership of the Minister for the Cabinet Office will be vital to ensure the UK continues to be amongst the frontrunners on open government.
In the briefing we call on the Minister for the Cabinet Office to work with civil society and other stakeholders to:
- Continue to champion the reforms the UK has led on to date, including:
- Company beneficial ownership transparency,
- Extractive industry payment and revenue transparency,
- Open data standards (e.g. Open Contracting Data Standard, International Aid Transparency Initiative, and the Open Data Charter),
- The UK Anti-Corruption Action Plan.
- Identify, develop, agree, implement and review new open government reforms, as part of the next Action Plan, that promote good governance, and support the effective, equitable and sustainable use of resources, delivery of public services and exercise of authority.
- Model open and collaborative approaches to policy making, through the process of developing the UK’s new Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.
- Challenge any policy or practice, where it arises, that threatens to undermine open government – particularly any plans to weaken the Freedom of Information Act.
- Raise the practice of open government across the UK through collaboration and competition across the nations.
- Support the open government movement internationally, encouraging new countries to join the OGP and challenging existing members where they backslide or stagnate.
The UK Open Government Civil Society Network also commits to working with the Minister for the Cabinet Office, his ministerial colleagues and civil servants to make progress across the breadth of open government, and continue to broaden the movement of individuals and organisations striving for open government.