OGP Access Working Group Sets Work Plan for 2014

21 March 2014

The Open Government Partnership Access to Information Working  Group (ATI WG) has developed a work plan largely focused on providing help to participating governments.

The work plan lists a variety of plans, including one that is apparently completed, an analysis on ATI-related  commitments in OGP  member’s first action plans. The study is to be placed on the group’s website, which is not yet in operation.

The other four OGP working groups also announce their work plans, according to an OGP announcement.

The work plan notes that since  January 2013 46 countries have begun to develop new action plans, due  in  April.  The ATI WG “will  approach interested  government representatives to ask them about the type of support they need in their drafting  of  commitments  on  access  to  information.”

Planned for early April is a webinar on the reports done by the OGP’s independent reviewers about the 35 countries in so-called Cohort 2 countries.

Also in April, the group proposes to provide feedback on governments’ commitments related to access to information.

The plan notes that it “would be beyond the aim of this activity to assess the overall relevance or achievability of these commitments without some detailed country-specific analysis, it will be feasible in the short term to consider the extent to which the suggested commitments are specific, measurable, and time-­bound.”

In May, the IFAI’s Directorate General of International Affairs has planned to support four international visits to IFAI facilities in Mexico City.

Tentatively scheduled is to hold panels at the four OGP regional  meetings that will take place throughout the year.

The two main aims of the working group are:

• To  become  a  resource  that  helps  governments  in  their  designing  and  implementation of  effective  and  ambitious  commitments  regarding  ATI  and  disclosure  of  relevant  information.

• To  support  the  participation  of  key  stakeholders,  ATI  oversight  agencies,  networks and civil society  in the  OGP.

The  group is composed  by  Mexico (Federal  Institute  for  Access  to  Information and  Data  Protection), The  Carter  Center, Brazil  (Office  of  the  Comptroller  General), the  Alianza  Regional  por  la   Libre   Expresión   e   Información, Indonesia   (Central   Information   Commission) and the   Centre   for  Freedom  of  Information.

Membership in the group is open, and the work plan indicates that Alianza  Regional  por  la  Libre  Expresión  e  Información  is  drafting  of  the  Articles  of  Governance for the group. The group was formed last year and held several meetings during the OGP summit in November.

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