OGP to Form Group on Private Sector Involvement

24 October 2013

The Open Government Partnership plans to form a working group to explore ways for the private sector to become more involved, FreedomInfo.org has learned.

The ad hoc group will be announced next week at the OGP summit meeting in London Oct. 31- Nov. 1.

It will be jointly chaired by:

–         Oliver Bell, chief technology officer for Microsoft,

–         Andrew Wilson, the Deputy Director, Strategic Planning, of the Center for Private, at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). and

–         A representative from the government of South Korea.

The effort is described as an informal working group whose goal in the next six months will be to explore private sector interest in the OGP.

Microsoft’s CTO Bell will speak on a panel in London Oct. 31 entitled “Public-Private Partnerships to Open Up Government.”

This discussion, the agenda says, “will provide a starting point for the first meeting of the Ad hoc task team to explore ways of incorporating the private sector into the OGP in the future.”

CIPE, based in Washington, D.C., “strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.” CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, “a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world” that is supported with funding from the U.S. Congress.

CIPE “supports efforts to expand both the scope and quality of information available to the public and decision-makers,” according to a description of its programs. Read more about CIPE’s transparency and access to information programs.

The identity of the representative of the South Korean government was not immediately available.

One area of growing interest within the civil society community is the gaining  information on corporate ownership. This was also a topic raised by the British government in the context of the G-8 meeting, which the UK hosted.

The final communiqué emphasized the value of open data but was less ambitious on corporate ownership.  The statement says: “We agree to publish national Action Plans to make information on who really owns and profits from companies and trusts available to tax collection and law enforcement agencies, for example through central registries of company beneficial ownership.” (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

The OGP has raised most of its money from foundations and member governments, according to a website summary. The only corporate donor listed is Google, which contributed $350,000 to support two OGP events.

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