Open government

The COVID-19 response has shown how making official information and decision-making processes as transparent and accessible as possible has built trust and confidence in government as an institution in New Zealand, at a time when such trust is in decline globally. For citizens to be active participants in our democracy, barriers to accessing government information need to be removed. The Commission has continued to build on the Public Service Act 2020 principle of open government and the commitment to facilitating active citizenship. We do this through our work with agencies and civil society around our Open Government Partnership (OGP) national action plans and through our leadership role in official information act practices and proactive releases.

This work is happening alongside, and supported by, our membership of the OGP. The OGP is an international agreement between 78 countries to try to make governments more open, transparent and accountable in their decision-making. Each OGP member country prepares and delivers national action plans, with a series of commitments relating to open government themes. New Zealand’s third national action plan originally covered the period 2018–2020. The plan’s implementation period was extended because of the global impact of COVID-19 and has now concluded as of 30 June 2021. The plan delivered milestones against 12 commitments in area such as: public participation in policy making, government use of algorithms, engagement with parliament, transparency and government recordkeeping. We’re in the process of evaluating the delivery of the third plan, with a report due by the end of the year. The next plan (the fourth) is being developed by the Public Service in conjunction with civil society with a view to having the plan finalised by the end of 2022.

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