OGP Releases List of 79 Countries Eligible to Join

4 August 2011

The Open Government Partnership has published the names of the 79 countries eligible to join, and their qualifying scores.

The list is now available on the OGP website under the “More Documents” heading. The site also includes an explanation of the criteria and the scoring. The spreadsheet does not include the scoring for the countries below the cut-off level.

The OGP is a “multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.”

The effort was initiated by U.S. President Barack Obama last fall and was kicked off at an event in Washington on July 12.

At this stage, it remains unclear how many countries will sign on.  Eight governments are members of the founding steering committee and about eight more indicated their interest in joining at the meeting, officials said at the time.

However, there is no public list of countries intending to participate. The first formal OGP meeting will be held in New York in September.

Also still to surface is information about a planned Open Government Declaration.  Neither is there any information yet on what consultations will be held by participating countries on their “action plans.”

Roadmap to Follow

Countries desiring to join must agree to a four conditions, described in an OGP “roadmap” document.

The first requirement is to sign on to an Open Government Declaration.

This document is not yet publicly available. It is still in the drafting stage with no announced plans for putting it out for public comment.

Secondly, participating countries each will prepare “concrete” action plans.

Draft plans from the eight government members of the steering committee were discussed at a July 11 meeting of the committee, which also includes representatives from civil society groups.

However, those draft plans, some of which drew criticisms from CSO members of the committee, have not been released.

The action plans will be the subject of consultations, another condition of membership. Such consultation processes will be established by each individual country.

In the United States, no consultation plan has been released.

The other seven original members are:  Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. India was an original member, but decided not to continue. (See related report in FreedomInfo.org.)

Speaking at a reception following the July 12 event in Washington, Maria Otero, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, indicated that interest had been expressed by Kenya, Honduras, Mongolia, Chile, Uruguay, Thailand, Liberia and Canada. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) A State spokeswoman later clarified that Kenya and Honduras publicly announced their intention to join formally and that Mongolia publicly said it would go home and recommend joining to its government.

Formal notices of intent to join will go up on the OGP website, she said.

It is unclear how many action plans will be announced at the New York meeting in mid-September. But it will not be necessary to having a completed plan by the time of the launch meeting (not yet set) in New York.

The fourth condition is to agree to assess their progress through a system that includes both self assessment and external evaluation.

79 Eligible Countries

The 79 invited countries qualified based on a 16 scoring system, with 12 points necessary to get an invitation.

The judging was done by “an independent group of experts.” Two points each were awarded for the publication of the executive’s budget proposal and audit report, based on an index done by the International Budget Partnership (4 points). The other three criteria concerned access to information (4 points), disclosures related to public officials (4 points), and citizen engagement (4 points).

The list is:

ALBANIA

ARMENIA

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRIA

AZERBAIJAN

BELGIUM

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

BRAZIL*

BULGARIA

CANADA

CHILE

COLOMBIA

COSTA RICA

CROATIA

CZECH REPUBLIC

DENMARK

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

ECUADOR

EL SALVADOR

ESTONIA

FINLAND

FRANCE

GEORGIA

GERMANY

GHANA

GREECE

GUATEMALA

HONDURAS

HUNGARY

ICELAND

INDIA

INDONESIA*

IRELAND

ISRAEL

ITALY

JAMAICA

JAPAN

JORDAN

KENYA

KOREA, SOUTH

LATVIA

LIBERIA

LITHUANIA

LUXEMBOURG

MACEDONIA

MALTA

MEXICO*

MOLDOVA

MONGOLIA

MONTENEGRO

NEPAL

NETHERLANDS

NEW ZEALAND

NICARAGUA

NORWAY*

PAKISTAN

PANAMA

PARAGUAY

PERU

PHILIPPINES*

POLAND

PORTUGAL

ROMANIA

RUSSIA

SLOVAKIA

SLOVENIA

SOUTH AFRICA*

SPAIN

SWEDEN

SWITZERLAND

TANZANIA

THAILAND

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

TURKEY

UGANDA

UKRAINE

UNITED KINGDOM*

UNITED STATES*

URUGUAY

* Denotes a Steering Committee

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