PRESS RELEASE: Transparency & Accountability Initiative welcomes launch of Open Government Partnership
Source: Transparency & Accountability Initiative
Date: 12 July 2011
The Transparency &Accountability Initiative welcomes the launch of Open Government Partnership (OGP), a new multilateral initiative that aims to promote more open and accountable government, with the ultimate goals of empowering citizens, countering corruption, promoting economic efficiencies, harnessing innovation, and improving the delivery of services
In a high level meeting taking place at the U.S. State Department today and presided over by Secretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Patriota, ministers from nearly 60 countries join representatives from more than 40 civil society organisations to discuss best practices, tools, technologies and methodologies to enhance open government. This event will set the stage for the formal launch of the Open Government Partnership in September 2011, when the eight founding OGP governments will gather in New York to embrace an Open Government Declaration, announce their country action plans to promote open government principles, and welcome the commitment of additional countries to join the Partnership.
We applaud the leadership of the eight steering committee countries and hope that many other countries will join them this September in taking on bold and powerful open government commitments.
OGP participants will commit to developing their country action plans through a multi-stakeholder process, with the active engagement of citizens and civil society. By asking countries to make new concrete commitments to tackle these issues, and to publicly account for them, OGP creates a unique opportunity for citizens around the world to join in a dialogue with their governments about how to make it more open and accountable.
The Transparency and Accountability Initiative looks forward to encouraging robust civil society participation in public consultations with the eight steering committee countries, so that governments can develop new open government commitments that are responsive to citizens and benefit from their tremendous expertise.
The Transparency and Accountability Initiative has been a strategic partner of OGP since its inception, helping support the initiative’s development through the provision of a full-time advisor, and promoting civil society engagement among leading open government activists from around the world. In the last few months, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative has reached out to leading experts across a wide range of open government fields to gather their input on current best practice and the practical steps that OGP participants and other governments can take to achieve it.
The result has been ‘Opening Governments’ – the first document of its kind to compile the state of the art in transparency, accountability and citizen participation across 15 areas of governance, ranging from broad categories such as access to information, service delivery and budgeting to more specific sectors such as forestry, procurement and climate finance. This resource will be useful not only in informing governments, civil society organizations, the private sector of OGP country commitments, but also more broadly in inspiring new reforms, advocacy and public-private partnerships to create more open governments around the world.
Notes to Editor:
Download Opening Governments
For more information contact:
Julie McCarthy, senior advisor, Transparency & Accountability Initiative
+1 203 782 5908
Martin Tisné, program manager, Transparency & Accountability Initiative
+44 7780 110 237
Transparency & Accountability Initiative
The Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI) is a donor collaborative that aims to seize momentum and expand the impact, breadth and coordination of funding and activity in the transparency and accountability field, as well as explore applications of this work in new areas. The collaborative includes the Ford Foundation, Hivos, the International Budget Partnership, Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Revenue Watch Institute, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It is co-chaired by OSF and DFID.
Open Government Partnership
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is overseen by a multi-stakeholder International Steering Committee, comprised of eight governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States) and nine leading civil society representatives [Africa Center for Open Governance (Kenya), Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (Brazil), Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (Mexico), International Budget Project (Intl), MKSS (India), National Security Archives (US), Revenue Watch Institute (Intl), Transparency and Accountability Initiative (Intl), Twaweza (Tanzania). The United States and Brazil are co-chairing the OGP International Steering Committee in its inaugural year. Chairmanship will rotate in subsequent years.
Open Government – A Definition
Three key principles form the cornerstones of an open government: 1) Transparency, which provides the public with essential information about what the government is doing; 2) Civic engagement, which allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise so that their government can make policies with the benefit of information that is widely dispersed in society; and 3) Accountability, which ensures that governments are responsible to the public for their decisions and actions.
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