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24 May 2017 - Officials Group meeting: minutes

Open Government Partnership Officials Group


Date / time: Wednesday 24 May 2017 2-3 pm

Venue: Reserve Bank, level 11

Attendees: State Services Commission, Department of Internal Affairs, Statistics NZ, The Treasury, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Te Puni Kōkiri, Auckland Council. 


Agenda & Topics

1. Welcome

Minutes of the 26 April meeting provided.

The Open Government Partnership Independent Reporting Mechanism is understood to have selected an independent reviewer for New Zealand’s National Action Plan 2016-18, however this has not yet been publicly announced.

2. Update on commitments

Progress updates circulated with agenda, both of which are to be published online. Discussion focused on matters arising:

  • Commitment 2: guidance on proactive release of Cabinet papers proposed to be included in the Cabinet Manual
  • Commitment 3: following the Joint Prime Ministers’ statement on open data, further discussion is planned for June between Australian and New Zealand officials, and between responsible Ministers
  • Commitment 5: use of a digital platform for public consultation on the mid-term self-assessment of the National Action Plan 2016-2018.

3. Mid-term self-assessment

OGP international requires the mid-term self-assessment to focus on the development of the current National Action Plan, including the consultation process; reflections on the relevance and ambitiousness of the commitments; and progress to date.

There was discussion about the time-line for developing and agreeing the draft text for public consultation which is planned for the last half of July, reviewing public comment and finalising the report, which needs to be lodged with OGP international by 30 September 2017.

Discussion points:

  • Possible inclusion in public consultation of questions about issues which could be a further, or new, focus in the next National Action Plan.
  • Ways to get the word out about consultation.
  • The direction of travel is on track. While some milestones have not been achieved on time, in the main these are for positive reasons, for example transfer of the Open Data programme to StatsNZ which will give a solid foundation for achieving impact.
  • Noted areas where actions exceed those committed to, for example, the consolidation of government resource for open data being built into a new data-focused leadership role for Statistics New Zealand; the establishment of a new work programme on Official Information Act compliance, and intensified focus of State Services Commission work on open government, as part of establishment of a new Deputy Commissioner role to lead a new group working on integrity, ethics and standards.

4. Forward meetings and agendas

Discussion focused on laying the ground-work for developing the next plan:

  • Desirability of identifying early some potential themes or issues for the next National Action Plan to focus on
  • Important to acknowledge significant government work that aligns with OGP values but which is not driven through OGP processes. Examples are current work on Better Public Services (particularly work focused on building a trusted, respected, high integrity public service); social cohesion, Crown-Māori partnerships, social investment.
  • The role for OGP is seen as increasing focus and pace on issues that would not otherwise be prioritised. Further work for the next plan could focus on open data, budget, Official Information Act compliance and access to legislation.
  • Potential for the non-government sector to contribute actions to the next plan: Auckland Council has some good models of co-delivery.
  • A potential area for focus is the current state of public participation – Auckland Council is developing some models for working with super-diversity, and there are some examples of intense Crown-Māori engagement around Māori land
  • Identifying stakeholders who could help connect to existing networks.  

5. Next steps

Commitment lead officials to start drafting text for the mid-term self-assessment using the OGP templates.


24 May 2017 - Officials Group meeting: minutes