Action Plan Update - call for views

Dear OpenGovScot Members

Please see the message below from Elric Honore, a civil society member of Scotland’s OGP Steering Group. The document that Elric has circulated outlines what is currently being presented by the Scottish Government in terms of draft commitments for the 2018/20 Action Plan. It also includes the views of civil society members that met on 19th October to review feedback from the engagement events that took place during the summer.

As Elric requests, we would really like to receive input from others in the Network in relation to what is currently being proposed. The timeframe for feedback is tight, with the OGP Steering Group meeting taking place on Thursday 4th October.


ElricHonoreElric HonoréOGN Scotland Action Plan Collaboration member



Dear colleagues,

In view of the 2nd Open Government Partnership Steering Group coming up next week (4 October), here’s a online collaborative document as simplified / plain English (*best shot within the timeframe) summary of the ideas and key actions being floated about across civil society and government so far.

The document is open for comment to all. Please have at it:

Open Government Partnership – Action Plan 2018-2020 Potential Commitments from scotgov- Civil society collab DRAFT


1 Like

Hi Elric,

Thanks for sharing. Broadly I agree with the plan, and I feel particularly strongly about the ideas of mini-publics and citizen juries as a means of enhancing participation in decision-making processes that are often left up to parliament alone (the same principle applies at a Local Authority level too).

I’d really love to see a ‘get involved’ website where there is an easy and approachable way to see what’s happening within SG and parliament e.g. current and upcoming debates, discussions at committee and the whole parliament and ways that citizens can contribute to the discussions and get involved.

Great to see the proposals / commitments on open data and publishing finance and budget information too. Definitely more dialogue with the public to be had on this. And I like the proposals under the scrutiny section. Perhaps something could be added about scrutiny for when items in public meetings are taken in private, items are redacted etc.?

I think there’s an action missing under 5) Understanding and influencing to put the idea about understanding and access to Govt decision-making systems and processes - a plea for this section not to focus solely on Brexit!!

Thanks all - it’s looking great so far

1 Like

Thanks for your comments Hannah - ill add to the online document for discussion with civil society members later today.

Hi Opengovscot members,

The Open Government steering group met last week and agreed a number of commitments for the action plan. As I understand it, the details of these are now being developed through pairings of civil society representatives on the steering group with Scotgov counterparts. Hopefully, the steering group will share with the network this soon.

As part of this, SCVO has been invited to help Scotgov develop a commitment around Brexit transparency in Scotland. I understand another external organisation, COSLA, is also being invited to work with Scotgov on some of the other commitments.

For the Brexit commitment, as a starter, we will push for the actions that Elric outlined in his Googledoc earlier in this trail. i.e. Brexit is not as transparent and participative as it should be for a change as momentous as it is. Opening up Brexit - recommending that Scotgov publish details of ongoing negotiations.

If you have further suggestions or comments, please reply to this trail or message me on @Ruchirshah if you want to do so anonymously. I plan to share any ‘ideas’ shared with me (albeit without attribution if requested).

Thanks, Ruchir.

All - Please see update from OGP Steering Group member (Civil Society), Alex Stobart:


Last week a number of the civic society representatives attended a meeting.

The draft OGP Action Plan was discussed at this meeting on 4th October.Unfortunately the Minister could not attend, and Colin Cook co-Chaired the meeting with Lucy McTernan.

The Scottish Government had prepared 5 draft commitments for the OGP Action Plan. W followed an Agenda circulated by SG. This formed the start point for the meeting and the discussion.

There was a good exchange to ensure that the views of civic society, the meetings throughout the summer, and the OGP web page points were discussed, and where possible included in the Action Plan.

We did not have time to finish in the 90 mins. Civil society representatives volunteered to work with public sector attendees to progress the 5 Commitments to agreed descriptions and supporting actions.

If anyone has any views to convey to the civil society representatives, please share them on this forum, or go to the google doc below kindly prepared by Elric.

OGP Steering Group - Agenda - 4 Oct 2018 - draft.doc (48.5 KB)

Open Gov Action Plan - drafting commitments Google Doc

Government and Civil Society leads for each draft commitment :

Commitment 1:

Eleanor Emberson, John Nicholson ( Scottish Govt )
Lucy McTernan, Catherine Gee

Barbara Allison, Audrey McDougall ( SG )
Ben McElwee, Elric Honore
Simon (Cosla)

Roger Halliday, Liam Calvin (SG)
Eddy Borges Rey, Alex Stobart

Alex Stobart (also likely Shaben Begum)
Simon Cameron (Cosla)
Colin Cook / Barbara Allison to explore

5: SCVO via Ruchir Shah for Brexit ; others who wish to come forward as this can be wider than Brexit


Alex Stobart
Mydex - your data your way

Mobile +44 (0) 7595 508 625




Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Mydex Data Services A Community Interest Company
Registered office: Summit House, 4-5 Mitchell Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH6 7BD
Company Reg No: SC319767 VAT Reg No: GB 998 5147 53

Alex Stobart

Dear all

I’m not knowledgeable enough yet about open government to add to the commitments document below, or the discussion in general. However, I have a wee concern…

It is very welcome to see participatory budgeting mentioned as one of the Hows for commitment 1, but because even when this is mainstreamed it will be about 1% of local authority budgets. At the moment, most participatory budgeting is run by local authorities and/or community councils.

So does open government work need to extend down to LAs and CCs? Or is that biting off more than can be chewed for now?

An additional reason for asking is that, according to Harkins, Moore and Escobar (2016, p. 4)*

  • There is little evidence available of PB processes that feature substantial opportunities for public dialogue and deliberation between participants.
  • *There is a lack of information and evaluation across the 1st Generation of PB in Scotland, making accurate accounts of PB processes, and assessment of project impacts, very challenging. *

I know quite a lot has happened in the UK and Scottish PB arenas since that report was written, but I think the questions are still worth asking.



Dear all

The note of the Steering Group meeting have now been finalised by members and published. Please see Steering Group meeting - Notes (Meeting 2)



Would it be possible under the Access to information heading that the Scottish Government (and Scottish Councils?) commit to publish grants they give the give to 360Giving ?

Kieran Wild

1 Like

Hi All
Just to follow up on this Brexit commitment to transparency of Scottish Government in the forthcoming Open Government Action Plan. I promised to follow up.

I had a chance to glance at a paper copy of an earlier version of the Scotgov commitment a few weeks ago but have not been involved in the drafting since then. In the earlier version, there was talk about running a series of Brexit consultation events, to feed into the Scotgov negotiations, rather than opening up the negotiations themselves - but this may have changed since then.

I have also heard ideas separately for a more ambitious approach where Scotgov negotiation positions, propositions and associated documents could be shared more openly in advance of decisions and Brexit meetings undertaken by Scotgov ministers. I.e. an open government approach.

I assume I will be seeing a draft during the public consultation period for the Open Government Action Plan at the same time as everyone else and will therefore comment on the commitment then.

Thanks for all your comments on this forum and to me privately.