New Zealand’s Fourth National Action Plan under the Open Government Partnership was made public today.
In releasing the plan, Health Minister, Chris Hipkins said open government was about strengthening democracy, building trust and improving wellbeing.
“This Fourth Plan includes commitments that are designed to bring positive change for the people in New Zealand,” said Mr Hipkins.
The plan contains eight key commitments that have been developed in partnership with a range of people, communities, civil society organisations, Public Service agency officials and the Expert Advisory Panel members, and agreed to by Cabinet. These are:
- Adopt a community engagement tool;
- Research deliberative processes for community engagement;
- Establish an inclusive, multi-channel approach to the delivery of government information and services;
- Design and implement a National Counter Fraud and Corruption Strategy;
- Increase transparency of beneficial ownership of companies and limited partnerships;
- Improve Government Procurement Transparency;
- Strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation;
- Improve transparency and accountability of algorithm use across government.
“Open government is an opportunity for members of the public to influence public policy and to improve the transparency of government. It’s important that we continue to embrace the challenge to do better in fostering transparency, accountability and inclusion, and improve how government serves its people and communities,” said Minister Hipkins.
He said the commitments in the Plan reflect the input and views of the public and civil society and the desire for government and non-government to work together to improve the lives of New Zealanders.
“They relate directly to issues raised during public consultation. I would like to thank people for providing their views and insights. While it’s not always possible to have full agreement on all issues, I welcome any input that challenges us to be better.”
New Zealand is a member of the Open Government Partnership, an agreement between 77 member nations to create more transparency and public participation in government – and to use new technologies to make governments more open and accountable.
Member nations undertake a new set of commitments through a National Action Plan every two years. While one Action Plan is being implemented, the next Action Plan is developed.