Brazilian CSOs Complain to OGP Steering Committee

18 July 2014

Thirty-three Brazilian civil society groups have asked the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee to look into “difficulties with the Brazilian government.”

A secret government committee consistently has rejected civil society proposals according to a July 10 letter.

The recently issued second Brazilian national action plan does not include suggestions developed by civil society through a process called the National Conference of Social Control – CONSOCIAL – “where more than 1,300 people, 60% were from civil society, 30% from government and 10% from representatives of management boards of public policies, representing all states in Brazil chose 80 priority proposals to improve transparency and social control in Brazil and combat corruption.”

The proposals “apparently” were rejected by the government’s OGP committee, the letter says. “We say apparently because the minutes of the meetings of the Open Government Committee are not available, so that people who integrate and decide on the actions of open government, are unknown.”

Civil society is not represented on the government committee which decides on the action plan, and the names of its members are unknown, the groups wrote.

The letter says “…. we can say without fear of contradiction that the Brazilian government is using the Open Government Partnership Initiative, through its Committee on Open Government, to disregard the voice of Brazilian civil society shown through CONSOCIAL.”

The letter concludes:

Therefore, we propose the assessment of the Steering Committee to ensure parity with civil society in decisions about the actions of open government is an essential requirement for participation of a country in the Open Government Partnership, and be given reasonable time for those that still do not meet this requirement.

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