OGP in the News - Week of September 12, 2016

A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.

Following last week’s G20 Summit in Hanghzou, China, corruption was the primary theme of this week’s news roundup with articles coming in from both the East and West.

In the United States, Foreign Policy featured an article in which OGP was presented as a means of improving and implementing United States Senator of Maryland Bill Cardin’s latest anti-corruption proposal. The current proposal charges the State Department with writing an annual report to rank countries on their commitment to eradicating corruption. Nathaniel Heller, the article’s author (and an OGP Steering Committee member), recommends that the department “simply collate the anti-corruption and transparency commitments that governments have already made” and proceeds to list some examples:

These could include whether countries have ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption and whether they have joined key anti-corruption “clubs” such as the Open Government Partnership, the Financial Action Task Force, the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, and the Open Contracting Partnership.

To celebrate the International Day of Democracy on September 15, the U.S. State Department released a press statement by Secretary of State John Kerry assuring that the United States “will continue to support the development of democratic, rights-based institutions, through our leadership in the Community of Democracies, our efforts in the Open Government Partnership, and our continued diplomatic engagement.” This statement was then republished by NewsroomAmerica, Foreign Affairs New Zealand, and several other sources.

Finally, leading online publisher of technology industry news TechCrunch reported that U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith referred to OGP as a source of optimism for the future of digital government.

In Mexico, several news outlets, including the tremendously popular international online media network Terra and Mexico’s 20minutos, covered the Seminar for Open Government and Parliament held in Monterrey, Mexico. During the event, Commissioner of the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (NACI) Joel Salas Suarez touted Mexico’s status as of one of the eight founding members of OGP when calling Mexico a “pioneer” in the open government model. Reiterating Suarez’s insistence on “concrete positive outcomes for society,” the widely read El Universal published an article calling for greater transparency and citizen participation in the hiring process of Mexican legislators in order to stay true to promises laid out in Mexico’s OGP National Action Plan.

In other news, OGP made its way into the daily Italian news publication Il Tempo following the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi’s Facebook post about all of the positive changes the city has recently enacted, including a move toward “citizen friendly” institutions such as OGP.

Global business news publication Quartz cited OGP’s press briefing of Kenya’s passage of the Access of Information bill last month. Quoting OGP regional civil society coordinator for Africa and the Middle East Maureen Kariuki about Kenya’s “massive achievement,” the article goes on to warn against “open washing,” or enacting open data government policies without truly implementing them.

Meanwhile, major Nigerian news portals Naij.com and Nigeria Online announced that President Muhammadu Buhari will speak at OGP’s fifth anniversary at the United National General Assembly on September 20. You can follow the event on all of OGP’s social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube. And don’t forget to share your OGP memories and aspirations using the hashtag #5YearsOGP!

And last but not least, the BBC revealed that Australians are raising their civic voice in a petition to put beloved and legendary wildlife conservation icon Steve Irwin on Australia’s currency. Crikey! We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to jacqueline.mcgraw@opengovpartnership.org.

Filed Under: OGP News