Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Paraguay, South Korea, Finish OGP Action Plans

18 May 2012

Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Paraguay and South Korea have completed their national action plans as part of the Open Government Partnership process.

Their plans have not been posted, but will be soon, FreedomInfo.org has learned.

Three other countries that joined the OGP last year still have not delivered their plans: Liberia, Ghana and Mongolia. The OGP co-chairs are in process of arranging discussions with these countries to establish new timelines for action plan development and delivery.

Most of the 55 member countries submitted their action plans just before the April 17-18 OGP conference in Brazil. The original eight member countries submitted their action plans in September 2012. The action plans are posted on the OGP website. But not all countries made the deadline.

A different deadline was set for the five countries that joined in 2012. They are: Costa Rica, Panama, Russia, Serbia, and Trinidad and Tobago.  Their plans will be due in March 2013.

Libyan Aspirations

In addition, some countries aspire to become members, as evidenced in a Twitter posting by Tim Kelsey during a recent trip to Libya. Kelsey is Executive Director of Transparency and Open Data in the United Kingdom and the British representative to the OGP Steering Committee.  The UK recently joined Brazil as one of two country co-chairs of the OGP. Civil society also has an OGP co-chairman.

Kelsey (@tkelsey1) tweeted: “Big day in Tripoli: Libya commits to joining @opengovpart and to develop legislation to enshrine right to data and to guarantee #opengov

Libya is not currently eligible, and apparently has a fair way to go in terms of meeting the minimum criteria, but will try to qualify, according to persons familiar with the situation.

OGP eligibility is determined by scores on a 16-point scale, 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. The other three criteria concern access to information (4 points), disclosures related to public officials (4 points), and citizen engagement (4 points).

The scores of the 79 qualified members have been published, but not the scores of ineligible countries. The scoring system is described in detail on the OGP website.  Countries joining pledge to write national action plans.  

No countries have been added to the eligible list since it was prepared in early 2012, but this is not the first time that OGP officials have heard about nonmember interested in joining. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)  Just before the OGP conference, the Hungarian government suggested that it would join, but no letter of commitment has been submitted.

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