A large group of OGP participating countries is entering its second National Action Plan cycle. The Independent Reporting Mechanism has published 43 reports into the first cycle and 27 countries have now published their second plan, with more expected in the coming weeks.

 

The OGP Articles of Governance state that:

 

Should the IRM process find that a participating government repeatedly (for two consecutive action plan cycles) acts contrary to OGP process or its Action Plan commitments (addenda B and C), and fails to adequately address issues raised by the IRM, the SC may upon recommendation of the Criteria and Standards (C/S) sub-committee review the participation of said government in OGP.”

 

The Criteria and Standards subcommittee clarified this application of this clause in February, 2014. The clarification was endorsed by the full OGP Steering Committee. This allowed the Support Unit to officially notify the countries that needed to make improvements to their OGP participation in the next National Action Plan cycle in order to avoid a review by Criteria and Standards in the future. This was designed to end the confusion over which situations are covered by this clause in the Articles of Governance.

 

Specifically the subcommittee agreed definitions and thresholds for the Articles of Governance on:

  • Acting ‘contrary to OGP process’

  • ‘Acting contrary to its Action Plan commitments’

  • Failing to ‘adequately address issues raised by the IRM’

 

These are detailed in the full minutes of the Washington, D.C, February 20-21 meeting on the OGP website.

 

As a result the Support Unit wrote letters to 11 participating countries on April 30 2014, which are being published today. The letters were sent in April in order to give countries adequate time to make any necessary changes before finalizing their second National Action Plans, which were due on July 1st, 2014.

 

OGP operates on a presumption of openness in all of its activities, and the Criteria and Standards subcommittee deemed these letters to be in the public interest. However, as there was short notice between the clarification of the rules by the subcommittee and the deadline for the new National Action Plans to be submitted, the subcommittee recommended that the letters be published after the action plan deadline had passed. This was to prevent any disruption to the countries’ efforts to address the issues raised by the IRM in their new plans.

 

Letters were sent for the following reasons to the following countries (click on the country name to view the letter):

If the IRM finds in a second consecutive action plan cycle that one or more of these countries did not meet the core expectations of participation in OGP, then the country will be subject to a Criteria and Standards review into its ongoing participation in OGP.

 
Topics: OGP
Filed Under: OGP News