Meeting: Open Government Partnership EAP meeting
Date: 15 March 2023
Time: 2.30-4.00 pm
Te Kawa Mataaho OGP team (TKM): Dean Rosson (manager), Christine Lloyd, Cathy Adank and Tula Garry
EAP members: Suzanne Snively, Rachel Roberts, Simon Wright, Sean Audain, Farib Sos and Sarah Colcord
Topics for discussion
- April CEO Visit and Panel discussion
- Update on NAP4
- A new MSF
- EAP-led discussion
1: April CEO visit and Panel Discussion
- Advice has been provided to Minister Little. TKM is waiting to hear back whether the Minister can attend the panel discussion at VUW on 13 April. It was noted that advertising for the public event will start early next week. The organisers have succeeded in securing catering and drinks sponsorship for the event. An addtional panel member will participate if the Minister can’t attend. TKM could note the event on the OGPNZ website.
- The CEO of OGP’s international body has been invited to attend part of the EAP meeting at the Commission on 12 April 2023 during his visit.
2: Update on NAP4 – Commitment 2
- EAP input was sought for establishing a steering group for the deliberative processes commitment work and invited comments. The commitment involved identifying case study examples of deliberative processes that could potentially be scaled up. EAP recommended a mix of academics, community and business on a steering group committee, and that this steering group needed to have a clear purpose and transparency about decision-making, funding and resourcing. It was important to get people with the right skill mix, with diverse perspectives and ages and to not “extract”.
- The options included adopting or adapting existing mechanisms or groups, instead of creating a new group. Organisations worth contacting included Porirua City Council, Ministry for the Environment; the Ministry of Youth Development (has a large youth steering committee of non-government members), Huie, and various youth steering groups (e.g. Auckland Youth Voice).
- EAP asked TKM to draft up and send through a document to EAP that frames the deliberative process work, for their further input.
3: Work on a new MSF
- TKM updated EAP on the MSF research project, noting two researchers had begun to develop a survey on the structure of MSFs internationally and were keen to meet with EAP to discuss this research work. This research was a bench-marking exercise and was only one component of the work to be done in developing options for a “new MSF”.
- EAP had concerns about engaging a contractor and lack of consultation and transparency. EAP raised questions about:
- whether utilising corporate contractors is an appropriate way to go about this work as this work ought to be more community-driven, from the ground up;
- whether there was agreement about what is an ideal “MSF” for New Zealand, i.e. what will be its role, purpose, and function and how can an MSF represent communities when communities are themselves so diverse;
- how to ensure people within MSF have a voice and are able to provide different perspectives;
- the financial impact of having people involved in MSF as it means their time and effort at a time when times are tough (inc. have we considered compensating them for their involvement?);
- looking at other countries’ practice was the best way to answer questions about the role, function and purpose of an MSF, rather than looking to New Zealand models for inspiration.
- TKM noted that in addition to work on what a new MSF would look like, there was work to do on a new process for OGP that would better support open government objectives. The contract work:
- was not intended to predetermine the structure, role, purpose, and function of the next MSF. Rather, it was research and information-gathering as one part of more comprehensive advice;
- provided an additional resource for a discrete piece of work involving data analysis;
- was discussed and noted in the February EAP meeting minutes. The feedback then was about the scope and direction of the research (going wider) which was considered by TKM and incorporated.
- EAP asked to be provided with description of the work and to be informed going forward; and for a summary of the OGP rules and guidelines on MSFs and the possibilities.
4: EAP-led discussion
- EAP continued the discussion about a new MSF. Given that it is an election year and members’ terms will be ending, we must expedite the MSF development work and be clear about time frames. TKM noted that, ultimately, work on the new MSF is to provide the Minister with advice on a new MSF and associated processes.
- The EAP noted some key considerations for this work including the guiding principles for a new MSF and its role and function in the light New Zealand context and the broader goals of open government. Potential actions and outcomes might include:
- getting OGP on the wider government agenda. An ideal outcome may be that a new MSF would include politicians from Opposition parties as well as parties in government;
- the composition of the MSF changing, rather then having a set group over time and instead the MSF could be issuses-based, cohort-based or case-based;
- that MSF work continues and is not put aside or lost due to current events, including the election and Cyclone Gabrielle – there needs to be assurance that there is no slippage;
- not seeking perfection or being constrained by OGP rules but taking a “learn by doing” approach to developing a new MSF. This could involve, for example, taking a year to trial prototypes of potential MSF processes (such as utilising Festival of the Future);
- there was a need to increase engagement in OGP – the trialling of prototypes of potential MSF processes could focus on addressing major concerns of New Zealanders eg climate change, with “OGP” not being used until the last sentence;
- identifying how big and hard this work we can go, with regards to a new MSF.
- EAP asked for a project plan and budget for all of the above which gives EAP a co-guidance role and which records the key points of engagement.the plan should have crisis built into it.
- EAP asked that consideration be given to having additional meetings to ensure MSF is complete by June 2023.
- OGP officials will provide EAP members with:
- the project plan and budget for the development of the new MSF, outlining steps, points of engagement and goals;
- a summary of the OGP rules and guidelines on MSFs to EAP and the possibilities;
- a draft doument framing the work to be undertaken on deliberative processes and the role of a steering group;
- provide EAP with the description of the work to be undertaken by contracters in relation to a new MSF
- EAP members will consider the above and provide feedback.