OGP Nearing New Personnel as Anniversary Approaches

7 September 2012

With its first birthday on the horizon, the Open Government Partnership is surveying member governments about their OGP-related activities and new personnel announcements are expected soon.

The OGP Steering Committee is nearing the selction of a new executive director, a director of the Independent Review Mechanism process and the eight members of the panel that will supervise the IRM.  OGP leaders also are continuing to refine the IRM plan, having recently solicited public input.

The OGP’s second year will be a “make or break year,” according to Nathaniel Heller, the director of Global Integrity, who has been closely involved with the OGP effort. In a Sept.  6 blog post, without naming names, Heller said one government is holding up key appointments and sympathetically discusses the costs of understaffing at the OGP “support unit.”

In other recent OGP developments:

–          Azerbaijan has approved a national action plan, according to a news report. The plan is not yet posted on OGP site.

–          Ghana has formed a steering committee of government officials and CSO representatives to start consultations on the development of an action plan before the end of the year. Ghana’s plan was due last April.

–          The Open Democracy Advice Centre in South Africa announced the launch of an OGP monitoring blog.

–          The Dubrovnik, Croatia, meeting for European OGP members and civil society organizations is scheduled for Oct. 4 and 5, with the deadline to register extended to Sept. 12. For European governments, contact Tamara Puhovski at tamara.puhovski@mvep.hr CSO participants should contact Sandra Pernar at sandra.pernar@uzuvrh.hr

–          Other regional meetings, in Africa, Latin America and Indonesia may be in the works.

–          The first anniversary event in New York City is planned for Sept. 26; details to be announced.

–          As of the NYC event, Indonesia will become a co-chair, replacing Brazil. The other government co-chair is the United Kingdom. The CSO co-chair is Warren Krafchik, Senior Vice President for International Programs of the International Budget Partnership at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

–          Polish NGOs have established a coalition to push for Poland to join the OGP.

–           An OGP official confirmed that the annual meeting, originally planned for next spring in London, will be held in the fall and that an exact month is under discussion.

OGP Survey of Governments

The seven-question survey of government activities, posted on the OGP blog, website, asks governments to say who is their lead person responsible for their OGP activities and asks, “In a few lines, please describe the portfolio (issues) that you cover and how you have interacted with the Open Government Partnership in the past year.”

Checking boxes on a list of various topics being worked on is requested, too. In addition, the survey asks: “What other international coalitions or networks do you or your department participate in?”

Government responders are given the options of having their responses made public or only disclosed in aggregated form with other responses.

The OGP is still seeking comments on its two-year strategic plan. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

Azerbaijan Plan Approved

The president of Azerbaijan on Sept. 5 signed the country’s national action plan, according to a media report.

Azerbaijan has been one of a handful of countries who missed the April deadline for submission of their plans. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

The plan “covering the period of 2012-2015 aims to ensure the continuity of measures in the fight against corruption and promotion of good governance, increase transparency in the activities of state bodies, establish the activities of state bodies in compliance with modern standards, and promote the principles of open government, the Azerbaijani Commission on Combating Corruption reported in connection with approving the National Action Plan on Open Government and National Action Plan on Combating Corruption,” according to the article.

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