Two OGP Members Slip Below Minimum Qualification Level

19 February 2016

Two of the 69 member countries of the Open Government Partnership – Papua New Guinea and Tunisia — have fallen below the minimum standard for membership.

The two countries have a year to improve their eligibility scores under OGP rules. This is the first time member countries have slipped below the qualification bar. Countries must earn 75% of possible points to become eligible to join OGP and must remain above 75% to continue participating in OGP.

Papua New Guinea now has a 69 percent score as the result of having not published a budget audit report in at least the last year, according to a Feb. 9 letter sent Feb. to the foreign minister by Joe Powell, Acting Executive Director of the OGP Support Unit.

Powell explained: “The Audit Report is one of two critical budget documents (the other is the Executive’s Budget Proposal) that determine how many points countries earn in the fiscal transparency category. Papua New Guinea’s score fell from 13/16 points to 11/16 points in the 2015 review of eligibility (countries must score 12/16 or above).” If Papua New Guinea doesn’t improve its score by Dec. 31, 2016, it’s continuing participation will be reviewed by the Criteria and Standards subcommittee.

The OGP newsletter, which published news of the two countries’ ineligibility, did not include a letter for Tunisia, which also now has a 69 percent score, according to the periodically updated OGP eligibility table, which does not include past scores. AN OGP official said Tunisia also had not published a budget audit.

The OGP also announced that Venezuela, not a member, is now ineligible.

Newly eligible countries, the newsletter reported, are seven countries, two of which have joined: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire (joined), Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka (joined) and Zambia.

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