OPEN GOVERNMENT

Open Government is a hot topic right now, but what does it really mean? What should governments be doing on the topics of transparency, participation and accountability to qualify as Open Governments? In what ways can new technologies help advance openness and efficiency of Open Data and interaction amongst citizens?

News on Open Government
Open Government Standards

OPEN GOVERNMENT STANDARDS

 

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“The Open Government Standards
Project is designed in the spirit of
openness:
The best standards will come from
civil society and government working
together to define what we really
mean by transparency, participation,
and accountability”

Helen Darbishire
Access Info Europe


THE STANDARDS

The Open Government Standards are the result of an initiative coordinated by Access Info Europe, a human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of the right of access to information in Europe and the defense of civil liberties and human rights with the aim of facilitating public participation in the decision-making process and demanding responsibility from governments. The Open Government Standards have been 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.

TRANSPARENCY

Transparency means that information about the activities of public bodies is created and is available to the public, with limited exceptions, in a timely manner, in open data formats and without restrictions on reuse. Transparency mechanisms must include the disclosure of information in response to requests from the public and proactive publication by public bodies. Key information about private bodies should be available either directly or via public bodies.

PARTICIPATION

Participation means that the public can engage directly in the consideration of policy options and decision making, and can contribute ideas and evidence that lead to policies, laws, and decisions which best serve society and broad democratic interests. Governments should actively seek to mobilise citizens to engage in public debate. Mechanisms should exist which permit the public to participate at their own initiative and to trigger policy debates on matters of concern.

ACCOUNTABILITY

An accountable government is one which makes itself answerable to the public, upholding standards of behaviour and integrity, and both explaining and taking responsibility for its decisions and actions. Accountability requires that rules, regulations and mechanisms be in place governing the exercise of public power and the spending of public funds. Specific and detailed measures are required to reduce corruption risks, to identify and prevent potential conflicts of interest, and to guard against illicit enrichment. There should be protections for those who expose wrongdoing.

RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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ALL INFO AVAILABLE FROM ALL PUBLIC BODIES

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ACCESS IS THE RULE – SECRECY IS THE EXCEPTION

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PROACTIVE PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION

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FREE OF CHARGE AND FREE FOR REUSE

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OPEN FORMATS

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COMPILATION OF INFORMATION

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INDEPENDENT REVIEW MECHANISM

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OPENNESS

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CLEAR AND REASONABLE TIMELINES

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CLEAR AND COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION

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ACTIVE COLLABORATION

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APPROPRIATE AND CLEAR PROCEDURES

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EMPOWERMENT

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TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

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CODES OF CONDUCT: CLEAR STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOUR

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CONFLICT OF INTEREST PREVENTION MECHANISMS

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ASSETS DISCLOSURE

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TRANSPARENCY AND REGULATION OF LOBBYING

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WHISTLEBLOWER MECHANISMS AND PROTECTIONS

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PROCUREMENT TRANSPARENCY

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INDEPENDENT ENFORCEMENT BODIES

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OGStandards_Cover

“The longer we allow Open
Government to mean anything
to anyone, the risk increases
that the term melts into a
hollow nothingness of
rhetoric”

Nathanial Heller
Global Integrity

DOWNLOADS

“Open Government means guaranteeing
the right of access to information and
having transparency as a matter of
public policy and open data as a tool
to achieve this”

Karina Banfi
Transparency Activist

NEWS ON OPEN GOVERNMENT

24Nov 2016
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Civil society calls on Spanish Government to be open about the Open Government Partnership – again!

Madrid, 24 November 2016 – A letter from seventeen (17) Spanish civil society organisations sent today to the Spanish government calls for information about progress on the third Open Government Partnership Action Plan, as well as urging the Spanish authorities to send ministerial level representatives to the OGP summit, to [...]

3May 2016
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Civil society urges OGP Steering Committee to undertake strong reforms and rally its core values

Madrid, 3 May 2016 - The Open Government Partnership is in need of substantial reforms in order for it to become a real actor of change for greater transparency, participation and accountability worldwide, Access Info Europe and Alianza Regional have stated in an open letter sent to the organisation’s Steering [...]

27Nov 2015
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Documents used in decision making are not “internal” rules Spain’s Transparency Council

Madrid, 27 November 2015 – In another important decision from Spain’s Transparency Council, Access Info Europe has been granted access to Spanish government progress reports on Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments. The Transparency Council’s decision rejects arguments by the Ministry of the Presidency that these documents, which were used as [...]

16Oct 2015
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Access Info issues formal complaint on Spain’s lack of commitment to the OGP

Madrid, 16 October 2015 - Access Info Europe submitted a formal complaint to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in relation to the Spanish government’s manifest lack of commitment towards the principles and values supported by the Alliance, of which Spain is member since 2011. Access Info’s complaint is specifically structured [...]

30Jul 2015
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Global civil society calls upon EU to join Open Government Partnership

Madrid, 27 July 2015 – Access Info Europe, the Open Society European Policy Institute, and Publish What You Fund have sent a letter endorsed by 50 organisations from around the world, calling on Members of the European Parliament to encourage the European Union to sign up to the Open Government [...]

10Apr 2015
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Design of WJP Open Gov Index Skews Results

Is this really a true picture of Open Government Worldwide? With evaluations such as "incredible", "rather amazing figure", and "missed opportunity", Dr Ben Worthy of LSE and Helen Darbishire of Access Info analyse the World Justice Project's Index 2015 and raise a series of important questions, including how accurate is [...]

15Sep 2014
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Global Legislative Openness Week: launch of international campaign to open legislatures

Madrid/Washington D.C., 15 September 2014 - Access Info Europe, as part of a group of 107 civil society organizations from around the world, including the Sunlight Foundation, the Latin American Legislative Network, Open Knowledge, and local Transparency International chapters launched a global campaign to highlight the importance of transparent and [...]

30Apr 2014
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Access Info Europe leads panel about open government in the OGP Regional Meeting in Dublin

Madrid, 30 April 2014 – Access Info Europe is coordinating a panel on ‘Open Government: standards and indicators for measuring progress’, as part of the Open Government Partnership Regional Meeting in Europe, which will take place in Dublin on 8 and 9 May. Effectively measuring and evaluating open government has [...]

22Feb 2014
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Open Data Day 2014: Open Government Standards

Madrid, 22 February 2014 - As open data activists around the world celebrate "Open Data Day" on 22 February 2014, Access Info Europe recalls that Open Data is an integral part of all work to promote open government and has been integrated into the core of the Open Government Standards, [...]

18Dec 2013
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Recommendations for Progressive Improvements on RTI

Madrid/Halifax, 18 December 2013 - Specialist right to information organisations Access Info Europe and Centre for Law and Democracy led on the drafting of a set of recommendations for progressive improvements to the right to information (RTI) which should be introduced by governments participating in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). [...]

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