Access Info Europe is leading a new campaign to create Open Government Standards and promote them around the world. The idea is to set standards on what open, transparent, accountable and participatory government really means.
Open Government is a hot topic right now, but what does it really mean in practice? What should governments be doing in the areas of Transparency, Participation and Accountability to qualify as “open governments”? What are the uses of new communications technologies which really advance openness as opposed to merely perpetuating existing bureaucratic practices in a digital environment?
Over the next few months, we aim to answer those questions, drawing together all the standards already developed by civil society into a coherent structure around the emerging concept of open government.
Our aim is to reach an agreement on the basic elements of what constitutes open government so that we can call on our governments to meet this standard. The Open Government Standards will be designed for all countries, with a particular relevance for members of the Open Government Partnership.
We will also identify the actions that governments should take in order to make real progress in promoting the three core pillars of open government:
Transparency, accountability, and participation.
OGP countries need to take the Right to Information seriously
Halifax/Madrid, 1 November 2013 - Global right to information organisations Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) today called on Open Government Partnership (OGP) Participating Countries to make serious commitments to strengthen their right to information laws in the next round of action plans, due to be presented in April 2014.
OGP civil society organisations concerned about disproportionate surveillance by governments
London, 1 November 2013 - OGP civil society organisations have expressed their concern, in a public statement made today, about the contraditions between recent revelations on disproportionate government surveillance on the one hand, and their OGP commitment to more transparent, accountable, responsive and effective government, on the other.
It comes after the final plenary session on the first day of the London OGP Summit when Indian Human Rights campaigner Aruna Roy challenged US Secretary of State John Kerry on the revelations of mass surveillance of populations around the world by the US government.
You can read a copy of the letter, and a full list of signatories as of 1 November 2013, below.
Open Government Partnership: Civil society challenges Spain's self assessment of open government commitments
Madrid, 28 October 2013 - Within the framework of the Open Government Partnership, Spain has submitted its self-assessment of its open government commitments made in the April 2012 national action plan. Access Info Europe considers that this first action plan introduced by Spain as well as its self-assessment are of low quality and therefore will accomplish little in Spain's development towards a more open government.
On the one hand, the action plan introduced has only four relevant commitments that will directly affect Open Government development in Spain: The approval of a Transparency Law, the Transparency and Accountability of Official Development Assistance Law, the publishing of crime statistics and the promotion of social networks to facilitate citizen participation. The other commitments have more to do with e-government and with the improvement of internal administrative performance. This is not to say these are bad policies, but they do not go far enough in pushing towards open government in Spain. It is very important to highlight that that these problems would have been settled if the Spanish government would have held a public consultation of its action plan as the Open Government Partnership requested.
Open Government Project
1 February 2013 - The Open Government Standards are being drafted through a consultative process amongst civil society organisations across the world that are working to promote open government. The Standards define the measures that different governments must adopt in order to advance and become Open Governments.
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