Private Sector Council Makes Plans for OGP Involvement

12 May 2014

A Private Sector Council, established to explore ways in which the private sector can engage in Open Government Partnership activities, presented its plans to the OGP Steering Committee in Bali May 5.

The council has been developing its goals since late last year and is preparing a final version of a “white paper.”

A draft shared with FreedomInfo.org says the private sector can offer a broad range of support, expertise, and innovative solutions in a number of areas, including project planning, process management, best practices, new technologies and information platforms.

It says that business performance standards can help governments better deliver on their promises and services to citizens, addressing issues such as reliability, scalability, security, and operational effectiveness of their OGP plans. In addition, the group’s leaders believe the private sector can help governments realize the economic benefits of openness and provide resources, human capital, data tools, and problem-solving capabilities.

The Council is co-chaired by representatives from Korea’s National Information Society Agency, Microsoft and the Center for International Private Enterprise. The council, whose membership is open, has coordinated its efforts with the OGP Support Unit, but will not be official a part of the OGP. The Council also has had participation from the World Bank, IBM, KPMG, the US government and others.

A range of benefits, including more certainty about governance and new opportunities from open data, are described in the draft report.

 The Council lists a variety of activities in its draft work plan, beginning with the establishment ofshort- and long-term objectives for OGP outreach to the private sector. Many of the recommendations aim to facilitate private sector participation on the OGP process, particularly national development of action plans.

Offering a platform of resources to address OGP member countries’ needs is another idea advanced in the draft while paper, as is exploring interoperable data platforms and technologies for broader use of the open data.

The white paper suggests a first phase of building consensus on priority objectives and deliverables, performing outreach, and demonstrating model programs and practices. In a subsequent phase, the paper envisions larger scale support for OGP initiatives and maintaining a hub of knowledge and resources.

Private sector involvement was the subject of a panel at the London summit in November and another May 9 at the regional summit in Dublin (see video).

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