OGP Seeks IRM Comment; Finland Makes 56 Members

20 July 2012

The Open Government Partnership, one member larger with the addition of Finland, is seeking public comment on its system for reviewing country action plans.

The OGP also is conducting a survey on civil society participation in the OGP process and planning to hold a consultation about how to rotate the civil society members on the OGP Steering Committee, according to recent communications.

The addition of Finland will bring OGP membershp to 56.  The official committment letter from Finland has not yey been placed on the OGP website.

IRM Planning Continues

The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM), under revision for many months, is the process through which OGP members’ national action plans will be evaluated. Countries will do their own evaluations and independent evaluators overseen by an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) also will prepare reports.  

The OGP Steering Committee July 14 requested comments on the overall process and framework presented in a seven-page document.

Comments may be emailed to caroline@opengovpartnership.org or posted publicly on OGP’s blog.

“All comments will be discussed by the standard and criteria subcommittee and will be made public, along with the final version of the overall framework, which will inform the ongoing work of the IEP,” according to the announcement, which did not indicate what recent refinements have been made.

However, an OGP official told FreedomInfo.org that the most recent discussion have centered on the timing of the reports.  The committee had considered a system of staggered reports, in part to manage the workload, but ultimately felt like the best option is to have an annual IRM that kicks in after the first 12 months of implementation. 

The most recent discussion of plans for the IRM was contained in the subcommittee minutes for its May meeting. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The subcommittee in April started with a concept note. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) IN May the OGP sought input on the emerging plan, providing a brief description of the planned proces and using a survey. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) 

Minutes of recent committee calls are soon to be posted on the OGP website.

Civil Society Input Sought Through Survey

Separately, the new civil society coordinator for the Open Government Partnership is seeking through a survey to learn about civil society efforts in connection with OGP.

The survey deadline to fill out the survey is Aug. 5.

 The survey aims to take “a snapshot of the OGP players and insights into year 1 experiences at national level. It will also provide me with the information needed to improve communications within the OGP community and to figure out is needed to make OGP a success (and what you can bring to the community).”

Rotation Consultation Planned

OGP CSO coordinator Paul Maassen said in announcing the survey that “a consultation on a revised rotation mechanism for the civil society members on the Steering Committee” will be forthcoming. No further details have been provided.

The plan for rotation of the nine CSO members is included in the OGP Articles of Governance. The founding members were to volunteer to serve 2, 3 or 4 year terms to facilitate some continuity as new CSO members were elected, a process to begin in early 2013.

A similar volunteer process was planned for the government members and in April OGP officials has expected these decisions to be made fairly quickly. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) No announcements have been made.

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