What happens next? What is the next stage of the process, and how can citizens be involved?
The first phase of the process to develop the fourth Open Government Partnership National Action Plan is the gathering of ideas from members of the public through our online conversation platform, as well as via workshops with interested individuals and groups across the country. This process started in 2020 with workshops and conversations and is accelerating at the moment with the online conversation platform and supporting workshops.
For the second phase, the intention is to run small group workshops with agencies and people interested in working with the ideas to develop Commitments. We anticipate these workshops happening after the initial idea gathering phase.
Finally, we will draft the Plan for consideration by the Government.
What are the opportunities for face-to-face engagement to give ideas for the Plan? Is the online platform enough?
We are keen for as many people as possible to join the conversation about the fourth National Action Plan. It is great to see ideas on the Delib site, and we’d encourage others to engage with the challenges that have been posed.
In addition to this online engagement, Te Kawa Mataaho is holding a series of workshops to support people to collaborate and to hear ideas. We’re monitoring the Covid Alert Levels and will update this information if details change.
Other interested groups or networks also plan to get involved, so keep an eye out for their events.
Email us at email@example.com if you’d like to find out more, or follow us for updates on Twitter at @ogpnz or at Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission’s LinkedIn page and Facebook page.
Please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute in other ways.
Can public servants take part in the conversation?
Public servants have the same rights as other New Zealanders. As active citizens and members of the public, public servants are encouraged to join in the Open Government Partnership conversation.
It is important that public servants exercise judgement about how they engage. Public servants who express their political views in their own time are unlikely to breach their employer’s political neutrality obligations provided that they don’t identify their opinions with their agency, give the impression they are speaking on behalf of their agency or use confidential government information for political purposes.
How many years is the Plan for? When will it be reviewed?
At the moment, OGP requires a two-year plan. We’ve been talking to other countries about how they’re thinking. Some have done two+two year plans or moved to a four-year plan. As ideas start getting developed into commitments, we will develop a better sense of how to structure the plan to get the best outcomes, including what makes sense in terms of length. We are interested in ideas that might take longer than two years to fully implement.
How is the OGP funded? Is there a dedicated budget allocation?
Open Government Partnership related activities are funded in a variety of ways. To be a member of OGP, New Zealand pays an annual membership contribution of $200,000 – this is funded through Te Kawa Mataaho as the lead for OGP on behalf of government.
There is not a centralised fund available for NAP implementation work. Funding is one of the things we work through with agencies when developing commitments. The possibility of four-year commitments may open up budget cycle opportunities, depending how commitments are structured.
How many staff are dedicated to working on the Open Government Partnership?
Te Kawa Mataaho leads the Open Government Partnership on behalf of government, with implementation of the Commitments in each plan led by individual agencies. The number of staff working on Commitments within agencies is not collated across the system.
A core team in the Commission works on OGP related activities. The number of staff working predominantly on OGP matters fluctuates depending on the work programme but involves 2-5 people, supported by the efforts of other Commission staff.
What has been achieved through previous OGP plans?
New Zealand has developed three previous OGP National Action Plans with commitments that seek to enable active citizenship, support greater responsiveness and enhance transparency and accountability. Some examples of successful initiatives from National Action Plan 3 include:
- the School Leavers’ Toolkit – a collection of resources created to better educate students about government, financial literacy, workplace skills and other practical topics, to helps young people feel more confident navigating life after school. See resources here:
- The School leavers’ Toolkit student website was launched in September 2019. The website has seen over 120,000 views, with over 40,000 first-time users, since the launch
- Delivered a training and support programme for teachers and educators to integrate the School Leavers’ Toolkit into their local curriculum
- public participation in policy development– aims to assist the New Zealand public sector to develop a deeper and more consistent understanding of what good engagement with the public means. See resources here:
- The new community engagement pages https://dpmc.govt.nz/our-programmes/policy-project/policy-methods-toolbox/community-engagement
- The new OGP page https://dpmc.govt.nz/our-programmes/policy-project/policy-community/open-government-partnership
- Developed five community engagement resources for inclusion in the Policy Methods Toolbox and tested them with reference group and government agencies undertaking or involved in community engagement
- review of government use of algorithms -aims to increase the transparency and accountability of how government uses algorithms – automatic decision-making processes used by computer programmes – to identify patterns in data. In July 2020 the Algorithm Charter for New Zealand was released. This is a commitment to ensuring New Zealanders have confidence in how government agencies use algorithms.
- Released the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand. Currently, there are 26 signatories who have committed to applying the values of the Charter in their work
How will the Plan be monitored and evaluated?
OGP has an accountability framework, including the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM). The IRM produces reports that assess the design and implementation of the commitments adopted by OGP participating governments in their country action plans. During the action plan cycle, governments will produce Self-Assessment Reports.
Additionally, Commitment leads (currently government agencies) prepare quarterly updates that are presented to the OGP Expert Advisory Panel and published on the ogp.org.nz website.
What is happening with the review of the Official Information Act?
The current Open Government Partnership National Action Plan (2018-2020) contains a commitment that the Ministry of Justice would undertake a review of the Official Information Act 1982 and provide and publish advice to Government. The Ministry has completed an options report based on the review, which has been provided to the Government.
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has said that there is a significant workload in the Justice portfolio, including work relating to the Government’s COVID-19 response and election commitments for such issues as family justice reform and looking at whether New Zealanders want changes to the country’s electoral law, including a shift from three year parliamentary terms to four year terms. As a result, the Minister is working with Justice Ministry officials to decide priorities. The Minister is likely to consider any potential review of the Official Information Act later in this parliamentary term.
Updates on all OGP commitments can be found at www.ogpnz.ogz.nz. The latest quarterly progress update on the commitment will be published soon.