Civil society leaders have today called for ‘bold and ambitious’ ideas from their counterparts to feed into the next UK National Action Plan (NAP) for Open Government.
It is the 6th version of the biennial NAP which seeks to make the government more ‘open’ by increasing the transparency, accountability, and the involvement of the people they serve.
The NAP is produced jointly by government and civil society which includes community and faith groups, charities and trade unions, universities and NGOs.
Previous versions of the NAP have contained groundbreaking reforms in areas ranging from anti-corruption and open data to open contracting and beneficial ownership.
It is hoped ideas for the forthcoming NAP will yield similar results.
Kevin Keith, Chair of the UK Open Government Network, said: “If you are combating corruption or protecting rights associated with protest; seeking to address inequality or protecting the freedom of the press; or standing face-to-face with the twin challenges of our time, climate and technological change, you cannot go lightly. You have to be bold and ambitious. It’s the only way to move the dial and contribute to rebuilding trust between government and citizens.”
Civil society input into the NAP is coordinated by the UK Open Government Network which includes representation from open government networks in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Government input is coordinated by the Cabinet Office.
Jessica Blair, Director of ERS Cymru, said: “We are looking for ideas from across the UK and are particularly keen to hear from communities who are underrepresented or whose voice often goes unheard when it comes to influencing government policy.”
The production of a NAP is mandatory for members of the 75 country Open Government Partnership which the UK government helped form in 2012.
Rachel Davies Teka, Advocacy Director of Transparency International, and co-chair of the UK Anti-Corruption Coalition, said: “ With public trust in UK political institutions waning, we need concrete commitments to increase transparency and reduce corruption risk. The NAP process offers an opportunity to do that.”
Following the ideas stage, a process of working alongside the government to create policy commitments will begin, lasting until the end of the year when the final plan will be published.
The form to submit ideas is available here and the deadline for submissions is June 7th.