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22 April 2021 - Expert Advisory Panel and Officials Group Meeting Minutes

Open Government Partnership: EAP & Officials Group Meeting

Expert Advisory Panel attendees

Suzanne Snively, Farib Sos, Sean Audain, Simon Wright, Rachel Roberts (by phone), Sarah Colcord

Agency Officials

Office of the Clerk, Ministry of Youth Development, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Internal Affairs, Stats NZ, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Justice.


Parliamentary Counsel Office, Archives NZ, Ministry of Education.

Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission Officials

Peter Hughes (12-12:30), Catherine Williams, Phil Newman, Victoria Hume, Gemma Graves (minutes)


Stephen Moore


Topics for discussion

Expert Advisory Panel meeting 12:00 – 2:30

Minister’s response to the letter from ten civil society groups

  • Mr Peter Hughes, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commissioner, in attendance
  • Te Kawa Mataaho is developing a work programme around open government for the next 3 years
  • The letter from 10 civil society organisations to Minister Hipkins proposes taking more time for the next OGP National Action Plan and proposes a dedicated budget line. Mr Hughes advised that budget decisions are for the Minister.
  • It is possible to have a longer timeframe for OGP National Action Plans and advance open government objectives on a faster track. The Commissioner wants to get on with reform and values the contribution of EAP and other civil society leaders. This will be in addition and complementary to OGP National Action Plan.
  • EAP advised that they didn’t know about the letter before it was sent, but all agree with the contents – except about extending the timeline. EAP wants more resources into OGP now rather than an extended timeline.
  • Mr Hughes anticipates that the Minister is likely to agree to the extended timeframe for OGP plan.
  • Additional open government priorities include:
    • Active citizenship, citizen voice and participation, and transparency and accountability
  • Broad discussion about what open government actions will resonate with NZers and what different/better ideas to build on IAP2 in the NZ context would be valuable, need to take non-government organisations with us on a journey of change, reach the silent majority and aim for continuous improvement, weave in open government examples from the Covid response, building on already strong public trust and confidence, encourage positive media stories of open government in action
  • Te Kawa Mataaho will let EAP know when the response letter is sent from Minister Hipkins to the ten civil societies organisations
  • In summary – Te Kawa Mataaho and the Public Service will progress the wider open government plan, as well as OGP

Agenda agreement

  • The agenda for the rest of the meeting was confirmed

Action: Proposition from Te Kawa Mataaho – pull together a workshop with influential people from policy people across agencies, DPMC Policy Project team, EAP, Te Arawhiti, Tier 2s from agencies where there might be commitments (based on early themes) for an honest session on ideas collected and how they may or may not fit into NAP4.

EAP advised TKM that civil society needs to be involved in the co-creation of a plan to co-create commitments and should be included in this workshop. TKM acknowledged this advice and committed to get back to EAP with a proposal for including civil society

  • EAP want to see amplification of open government work
  • Based on the feedback from the ten civil society organisations, and with the Minister’s approval, NZ will apply to change OGP cohorts
  • NAP4 will then be due for submission in August 2022
  • It is proposed the additional time is used for co-creating the commitments
  • EAP suggested looking for innovative ways of enabling co-creation - a cornerstone of the OGP - that seems to be inhibited by standard Cabinet approval processes. TKM responded that the idea of co-production needed to be balanced with the NZ model that has Cabinet as the final NAP decision maker
  • Having Cabinet as the decision maker means Ministerial mandate/ownership, a different model than nations without Cabinet (or equivalent) buy-in
  • Important to communicate the additional open government work that is happening outside of OGP so that people understand why the point they raised might not be included in the plan.
  • EAP advised, citing the IAP2 framework, that stakeholders should be involved in process design, especially given the OGP approach is the co-production of actions. TKM responded that it would consider whether or not wider civil society is involved in the proposed workshop and, if not, other ways of including civil society voices.
  • The workshop is about process – what supports are required for each phase. The outcome of this workshop is that agencies would know how to implement next stages and get going on with shaping some commitments.

Action – PSC to design workshop with EAP.  Aiming to hold the workshop in late May/June 2021.

  • Criteria for Commitments could include budget timelines – if not new bids, then an identified funding sources within agencies

Update on NAP4 engagement to-date and ideas received

  • NAP4 ideas extended to 21 May – could extend further to allow time after Open Govt week.
  • Need to communicate this, tying to Open Govt week – 17 to 21 May.
  • TKM shared an overview of the NAP4 workshops held in Christchurch, Dunedin, New Plymouth, Stratford and Hamilton
  • Next steps – write up workshop notes and send back to people who attended workshop so they can verify what was heard

Role of EAP

Reappointment process after late May workshop as current appointments expire September 2021

EAP & Officials Meeting

Expert Advisory Panel & Officials Group Meeting 2:30 – 4:30

EAP & Te Kawa Mataaho update Officials on earlier discussions

  • Group of 10 civil society organisations wrote to Minister Hipkins to ask for OGP delay by 1 year to enable better engagement. Reply coming from Minister shortly.
  • Public Service Act has passed with reforms including Open Government. Public Service Commissioner is excited about opportunities within his remit to make progress in the Open Government area – continuous improvement.
  • Minister Hipkins is likely to agree to the extension requested by civil society organisations, at the same time the Public Service Commissioner will progress the continuous improvement programme. One possibility for continuous improvement program is the Public Service Commissioner issuing a Model Standard adopting the IAP2 spectrum
  • Phase 2 NAP4 engagement planning workshop as above. Will ask DPMC for support.
  • EAP wants to see amplification to raise OGP awareness across the country.

Group discussion about lessons learned – how agencies are going with engaging with civil society and any challenges:

  • Agencies took it in turn to share their experiences, with the following actions noted:
    • Stats to provide EAP an update on the outcome of TINZ algorithm workshops
    • MOJ circulate to EAP link to published advice on the reform of the OIA
    • DPMC to share the community engagement checklist in pilot (when authorised)
    • Suzanne Snively to connect MYD with Melissa Clarke-Reynolds re climate change games
    • MYD will update on Youth Parliament once the Minister has considered the evaluation

Emerging themes from NAP4 engagement that might lead toward Commitments and updates from Commitment representatives on experience working with civil society

  • Initial emerging themes have been shared. PSC will share iterative versions of the emerging themes.
  • Plan from here – design and hold workshop towards end of May to figure out how we will get to the next plan – invite Tier 2s, flush out enablers and barriers, call on Policy Project expertise, bring in Te Arawhiti re engagement with Māori
  • From there, into the more detailed planning.