Thursday 30 January 2020 (this evening)
Thursday 26 March 2020
Thursday 28 May 2020
They take place at the moment at the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance, between 4.30pm-6.15pm, with thanks to Shaben Begum for being our host on those dates. PM me or post below if you would like to attend so we can plan numbers
The meetings are informal and an occasion to get live updates from the civil society leads on the action plan and/or get involved in working groups. This follows our drive last year recruiting new representatives and developing the network and governance. Observers of course welcome and we will put up notes of topics discussed on googledocs or such inline in this thread.
We’re still looking at how how we put more information online for the network along with collaboration tools, teleconferencing etc - see this post to get involved in this> How should we share what we're up to?
As can be expected, we will not hold Civil Society group meetings in person for the time being (and it is likely to apply to the next OGP meetings). Dealing with the Covid19 outbreak immediately in our roles in civil society and government obviously takes priority over longer term goals of progressing items in the action plan.
However it is more than worth keeping to sharing information, keeping connected and gauging where openness and transparency can help at this time, so we’ll still hold the meetings online with OGP and network reps who are in good health and able to.
All apologies that I missed the zoom meeting yesterday, the meeting details that Elric sent were blocked by our firewall so I didn’t pick them up until this morning. if anyone would like to speak to me about OGP (or indeed any other issue) I am working from home and happy to call you - just message me.
The situation at the moment is very unclear, all of our colleagues, in government and in civil society are I expect trying to adjust to a new normal. Almost all energies are rightly going into keeping people safe and well, this inevitably means that much that we wanted to achieve will be delayed. None the less it is particularly important at times like this that we make the choice to work to work transparently and openly so thanks for all those on the network who are being proactive with suggestions about how this might be improved. The suggestions are all getting to the right ears and are informing what we do. I hope you understand the scale and speed at which people are having to work, so if we are not as responsive as we normally are, please be patient and lets all be kind to each other
Many thanks Doreen. Yes I agree we need to work for transparency in Scotland but the lack of resources within our NGO sector to fund work and collaboration, presents many operational and engagement challenges.
I wanted to draw people’s attention to the CFoIS
Blog on the impact on FoI rights of COVID-19 https://www.cfois.scot/
I hope you find it interesting.
There’s concerns we are hearing re: access to and publication of information. There’s some good work being being done by @Watty62 about making information readily and (crucially) in a easily re-usable form for citizens - see https://codethecity.org/2020/03/20/scotlands-covid-19-open-data/. some improvements can be done there in making what is made public already reusable by default, rather than requiring manual reentry etc.
In parrallel (posting in behalf of Dorothy-Grace Elder as she can’t access the forum for some reason), there’s concern about access to information to local news, see below from NUJ:
Freedom of movement for journalists during COVID-19 lockdowns The NUJ’s London office successfully lobbied hard for journalists to be included in the list of key workers. However, instead of adopting the same definitions, the Scottish Government delegated decision making to local councils – something that would potentially mean that some journalists would need to seek approval from 32 different administrative areas.
Hannah did you mean the civil society meet up or the Scottish OGP Steering Group? Elric will I am sure come back to you on the former - on the latter it was due to meet on 3rd of June but given the Covid-19 crisis it will not now happen. But i will do what I can to let people know when we can meet and I am always up for a conversation on open government issues!
Good to hear from you. I meant both but should have been more specific! Thanks for letting me know.
I’ve taken an interest in some of the open government principles in relation to Covid, specifically in relation to the scrutiny of
the emergency legislation, the scrutiny function within local government (I see John McKay has put a thread on the Open govt network on Council meetings and this is something I’m interested in) and how it all relates to open decision making and inspiring trust
of citizens and communities. Like the open letter from civil society said it’s a great opportunity for national and local government to work in the open government ‘way’ and sow the seeds for a future relationship. From an outside perspective the participation
element is still quite opaque though…
Hi Hannah, for the next civil soc meeting, it’s still pencilled in for Thursday 28 May 2020 - would be online rather than in person, I’ll update details in this thread closer the time & drop you an email too. keep posted!