Canada’s role in the Open Government Partnership

(Michael Lenczner) #1

We want to highlight a global initiative that both the Canadian and Ontario governments are a part of: the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

OGP is a global, multilateral initiative that launched in 2011; today, there are over 70 countries participating. OGP secures commitments from national and subnational governments to promote greater openness, transparency, and accountability in government. Participating governments commit to two-year action plans which seek to advance the many aims of open government, such as:

  • Greater public engagement and civic participation in public policy development
  • Greater transparency through access to government information—such as contracts, reports, and budgets
  • Greater access to, and use of government data sets—through the development of open data standards, licences, and release of datasets (this is of particular interest to us here at Powered by Data!)

Action plans are intended to be developed in a participatory manner, in consultation with civil society. Both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are still taking public feedback on their 2018-2020 action plans, and we believe there is an opportunity here for our nonprofit sector to voice its data needs as they relate to government transparency and openness. In 2016, we successfully submitted a proposal regarding the need for a new data standard for publishing grants and contributions data. This formed the basis of Commitment 11: Increase transparency of grants and contributions funding, of the Third Biennial Plan to OGP.

We’re excited that for 2018-2019, the Government of Canada—represented by the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board—will be taking on the role of lead government co-chair of OGP Steering Committee. This leadership role will be a unique opportunity for Canada to learn from, and collaborate with other governments around the world to advance government transparency and accountability.

Because we see obviously see Open Government, and specifically the OGP, as an exciting opportunity for charities and nonprofits, we’re happy to have been selected as a member of Canada’s Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Open Government, which is comprised of combination of representatives from civil society and the Government of Canada.

As the public consultation period draws to a close, we’re wondering if there’s anything you’d like to see in Ontario and/or Canada’s 2018-2020 Open Government Action Plan? We’d love for you to participate in this conversation!