Meeting: Open Government Partnership EAP meeting
Date: 12 April 2023
Time: 1:00pm - 2.30pm
Te Kawa Mataaho OGP team (TKM): Dean Rosson (manager), Christine Lloyd, Cathy Adank, and Tula Garry. From 2pm - Hugo Vitalis (Deputy Commissioner).
EAP members: Suzanne Snively, Rachel Roberts, Simon Wright, Farib Sos and Sarah Colcord.
Apologies: Sean Audain
OGP International body (from 2pm): Sanjay Pradhan (CEO of OGP) and Alan Wu (OGP Regional Contact).
Topics for discussion
- Updates on key OGP work timelines
- Discussion of new MSF
- 2pm – OGP CEO visit
1. Updates on key OGP work timelines
- TKM updated on the key milestones for the next year. These included: implementation and reporting of the current National Action Plan (NAP); work on leading two of the Plan commitments; development of the new MSF; and planning for NAP5. Delivery was put into context of an election year, noting that it will likely be early 2024 when a Cabinet paper is put forward on options for a possible new MSF and Open Government Partnership (OGP) processes.
- EAP noted the Briefing to the Incoming Minister (BIM) is an important opportunity to update the next Minister on the OGP work. Democracy can’t be seen as an add-on to a government’s agenda – it is central to it.
2. Discussion of new MSF – process for creating a new MSF
- Survey – EAP recommended TKM include overseas civil society organisations (CSO) members in the international survey on MSFs. It was discussed that one-on-one conversations with overseas members of civil society may be the best way to hear their views. EAP noted that international CSOs would also be good to speak with, as they will be involved in OGP in multiple countries. EAP recommended the survey reflect that CSOs may fund the delivery and implementation of commitments.
- TKM asked EAP to be involved in future workshops on the potential features of a new MSF. In addition, TKM will hold workshops with agencies and CSOs on a new MSF.
- EAP recommended that work on the new MSF involve all NZ Government agencies, not just those with commitments. To is to: raise the profile of OGP; provide an opportunity to learn from each other; and identify opportunities to work collaboratively.
- EAP support mixed workshops on a new MSF with both government officials and CSO members at the same workshops. TKM noted that initially we support separate workshops for agencies and CSOs before bringing together the two groups to debate and discuss.
- Getting practitioners together is important because this is how people learn from each other – e.g. OIA forums.
- Discussed that conflict can be positive and isn’t something to avoid.
Discussion of new MSF – features of MSF
- EAP and TKM discussed the purpose and functions of an MSF.
3. 2pm - OGP CEO visit
- Sanjay Pradhan spoke to the meeting. He highlighted that democracy is under assault internationally and democratic backsliding is a problem across the world. Even where countries have strong democratic traditions and good outcomes in transparency indices, there is room for improvement. NZ needs to continue to be a visible global leader of reforms to strengthen democracy along with other countries. Mr Pradhan invited NZ to come to the OGP Summit in Estonia.
- Mr Pradhan noted some key suggestions for an MSF:
- Dialogue should be open between government and civil society.
- There should be equal seating/membership at the table for civil society and government.
- The representation in the MSF must be broad – not just the “usual suspects” of civil society groups. It also needs a broad membership from government, not just TKM.
- Civil society has an important role in validating co creation and monitoring implementation.
- Civil society should choose their own members – e.g. Nigeria where they ran elections.
- Support should continue to be provided to the MSF as it has been for EAP.
- Mr Pradhan also outlined some areas where OGP could assist through work which has already been completed by some partnership countries:
- Beneficial ownership register
- Open contract standards.
- Lobbying. Around 20 OGP countries have initiatives in this area. Good examples are Chile, Ireland and Madrid. OGP can provide case studies.
- In addition, Mr Pradhan referenced research covering the first 10 years of OGP and the success from this work which is now supported by data.
4. Agreed Actions:
- TKM will book in workshops with EAP members to discuss further features of an MSF.