Australian Documents Show Very Slight Interest in OGP

11 February 2013

Australia’s timid thoughts on whether to join to the Open Government Partnership are now revealed in a handful of government documents released to Australian blogger Peter Timmins, who sees some recent hints that Australia might join.

The internal assessments, beginning in May of 2012, exhibit what Timmins calls “limited safe within the square thinking.” One document observes that “participation is not likely to pose a practical or policy difficulty.”

Timmins says that “the thinking within the bureaucracy on what might flow from membership seems limited and, well, unexciting.”

The most recent document, however, is a Jan. 10, 2013, letter from the Information Commissioner  “indicating a path to membership in 2013, thoughts on what is involved, the resources needed, and outlining its case for lead agency.”

The documents indicate that officials think it would be fairly easy to develop a noncontroversial action plan based largely on current and projected activity, Timmins write. He urges more ambitious approach involving public consultation and bigger goals.

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