OGP Budget $1.5 Million Through October 2011

27 April 2012

The Open Government Partnership plans to spend almost $1.5 million ($1,497,563) in its first year of operation, according to a recently posted budget.

Much of that amount, 46 percent ($696,000), was, or will be, dispersed to other organizations, according to the budget, with the rest going primarily to OGP staff salaries and travel expenses.

About half of the distributed funds, $325,000, will support the OGP Networking Mechanism, an effort led by the Washington-based nongovernmental institution Global Integrity.

The rest, $371,000, is for an “IRM Grant to Host Institution (University or Think Tank, TBD),” with IRM standing for the planned Independent Review Mechanism. No determination has been made of who this recipient will be. The OGP intends to conduct a public process, with a call for nominations for experts to lead IRM efforts, and one of those experts will end up being the “host” institution.

The other funds will go toward: staffing salaries, 357,063; travel expenses, $299,500; miscellaneous costs, $68,000; and overhead costs, $65,000, according to the spreadsheet.

The budget is for the period of November 2011-October 2012 and is the first detailed accounting of the OGP spending. It does not include expenditures for the December 2011 and April 2012 meetings in Brazil.

(For all Freedominfo.org coverage of the OGP see http://www.freedominfo.org/regions/global/ogp/)

Income Information Updated

The OGP spreadsheet does not provide the source of the funding, but the OGP has previously disclosed that information and just added some new material on income, in another spot on the website (scroll down to view).

Much of the OGP’s support comes from private foundations who are partners in the Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

The latest income information on the OGP website indicates that T/AI’s contribution has risen to $1,213,500 “to date.”  This includes $400,000 from the Hewlett Foundation in November 2011 and $480,000 from the Omidyar Network in March 2012.

“Confirmed commitments” for $200,000 each are noted for three governments:  the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway. These appear to be in addition to the in-kind costs of underwriting of OGP events by the first year co-chairs, the United States and Brazil. [The United Kingdom has now replaced the United States as a co-chair and will host the next OGP conference, in March in London.  Indonesia will assume co chairmanship with the UK in September 2012, and become lead chair in September 2013.  Mexico will assume co-chairmanship in September 2013, and become lead chair in September 2014.]

The OGP Steering Committee has steered clear of asking the now 55-members for specific donations, or but voluntary contributions are being encouraged. The new Articles of Governance state in part:  “In order to cover costs attributable to meeting its responsibilities set out in Section VI, OGP may accept voluntary payments from governments or civil society organizations in the amount of no less than USD $50,000.”

The OGP Steering Committee’s agenda for its meeting April 16 included a budget discussion. The minutes for that meeting have not been posted but are expected out during the week of April 30. The second year budget is expected to be roughly the same.

The previous OGP income numbers, posted in mid-2012, said T/AI had provided $733,500 and Google had contributed $350,000, an amount not changed in the latest posting.  Other “in kind” donations are referenced, without dollar figures. These do not appear to have changed in the updated accounting.

T&AI held a board meeting in Brasilia in advance of the OGP meeting and many representatives of the group were present at the conference.

The umbrella group includes:  the Center for Budget Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Ford Foundation, Department for International Development UK (DfID), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Hivos, Indigo Trust, Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundation (OSF), Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and Zennström Philanthropies, according to the T/AI website, where growing income also is reported.

In 2010, T/AI reported donations totaling $769,292. The detail is: OSF  $276,824; Hewlett  $150,000; CBPP  $155,000; RWI  $15,000; Hivos  $42,242;  and Omidyar Network  $128,500.

For 2011 donations were $2,095,000, broken down as: Hewlett  $500,000; CBPP  $600,000; Omidyar  $455,000; Hivos  $140,000; and OSF  $400,000.

T/AI’s expenditures for the budget period March 2010 – August 2011 totalled  $767,570.

The Initiative is planning  “a rigorous multi?year? research proposal?on? the? impact ?of ?T/AI? interventions.”The London-based organization on Dec. 14 requested submissions?by?research or evaluation institutions or consortia to develop a project. The “budget envelope” is $5 million. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

T/AI now has a new director, Vanessa Herringshaw, coming over from Revenue Watch Institute, most recently as Director of Advocacy and Director for Europe. She replaces Martin Tisne, now with Omidyar Network, an OGP funder. He represents T/AI on the OGP Steering Committee.

 The OGP has three paid staffers: Director: Julie McCarthy; Senior Program Officer Ari Greenberg; and Communications Manager: Paulina Ibarra

Paul Maassen, the OGP Civil Society Coordinator, will start in June, is separately funded. He is based in Brussels. Maassen has worked with Hivos, a Humanitarian Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries as Program Manager for ICT and media, and with the World Wildlife Fund.

OGP Articles of Governance Cover Funding

 The recently approved Articles of Governance address funding. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report on the Steering Committee meeting.)


OGP is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative. It is funded by voluntary monetary support from OGP participating governments and grants from bilateral and multilateral donors, and other agencies, organizations and entities.

OGP may also receive and use voluntary in-kind donations from OGP participating governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, and others.

 In order to cover costs attributable to meeting its responsibilities set out in Section VI, OGP may accept voluntary payments from governments or civil society organizations in the amount of no less than USD $50,000. Governments and civil society organizations represented on the Steering Committee are strongly encouraged to contribute to OGP’s mission and operations. Steering Committee governments or civil society organizations unable to make such voluntary payments should write to the co-chairs explaining the reasons for not making this payment.

 The Steering Committee designates the fiscal sponsor for the OGP. The fiscal sponsor employs all staff and manages all financial payments from donors on behalf of OGP.

OGP’s bank account is held and managed by the fiscal sponsor. The OGP Support Unit Director has signature authority, overseen by the Governance and Leadership Committee on a day-to-day basis. The OGP account may be used for any activity falling within the objectives of OGP and the budget and work plans approved by the OGP Steering Committee. The funds may be applied to administration and governance costs, countryspecific activities and multi-country activities.

The OGP Steering Committee intends to appoint an external, independent auditor annually audit the OGP account, overseen by the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee, and to present a written audit report to the OGP Steering Committee. This annual report is to be made public on OGP’s website.

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