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NI Open Government Action Plan Consultation

Starting: 08 Feb Ending

0 days left (ends 23 Mar)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE IDEAS SUBMITTED SO FAR ----------->

description

The NI Open Government Network is collecting ideas to improve transparency, participation and accountability. We are looking for proposals that the Northern Ireland Executive should commit to in its 2018-2020 Open Government Action Plan.

We would like to hear from citizens, community groups, civil society organisations, and anyone interested in greater transparency, citizen participation and accountability from government.

Your idea might include a fully formed commitment with an explanation of the problem it intends to address.  Alternatively, you may wish to flag an issue that you are concerned about.  All ideas are welcome.

Ideas included in the previous NI Open Government Action Plan can be found here.

At the end of this crowdsourcing phase, the NI Open Government Network will prioritise and develop the best ideas into a set of proposals. These proposals will be presented to the government and we will advocate their inclusion as NI-specific commitments in a UK Open Government National Action Plan.

The Northern Ireland Open Government Network is an alliance of individual citizens and representatives of voluntary/community organisations with the following vision:

“To contribute to delivering more open, transparent and accountable government that empowers citizens to shape decisions that impact on their lives.”

Open-Government-Network

Open government is the simple but powerful idea that governments work better for citizens when they are transparent, participatory and accountable.

Open government reforms can transform the way government and public services work, ensuring that they are properly responsive to citizens, and helping deliver better outcomes for society. Good health and wellbeing, quality education, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities - open government is critical to achieving all of these outcomes and more.

If you would like to propose an idea, please click on the image below...
 

Further info

LATEST ACTIVITY

STATISTICS

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  • Propose idea: 0
  • Under review: 0
  • Under evaluation: 0
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LATEST COMMENTS

Status: Closed
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CONTRIBUTORS (14)

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Author: jonathan@nienvironmentlink.org Date: 08 February 2018

Commitment
Improve fiscal transparency by making essential budget information available in a user friendly accessible format

Problem or issue to be addressed
People need information in an accessible, understandable form to enable them to understand what government is doing with their money and allow them to participate in governmental affairs.

According to the OECD:
"Governments need to proactively help the general public make sense of the budget.”

The International Monetary Fund in its Manual on Fiscal Transparency states that:
“A clear and simple summary guide to the budget should be widely distributed at the time of the annual budget.”

The International Budget Partnership explains that:
“A citizens’ budget can take many forms, but its distinguishing feature is that it is designed to reach and be understood by as large a segment of the population as possible.”

The World Bank points out that government budgets are technical and difficult to understand and that a Citizens Budget:
“Makes the budget “accessible” and not just available … Facilitates wide and informed debate on fiscal priorities … Demonstrates the government’s commitment to the public and fosters trust in government.”

Objective
Produce a Citizens’ Budget – a short and accessible guide that uses everyday language and is written with the needs of the general public in mind - to help government to explain in plain language the objectives of its budget. This would help meet the government’s responsibility to explain publicly and in plain language, how it is raising, spending, and managing public resources.

Relevance to Open Government
Publication of a citizens’ budget is identified as good practice in international fiscal transparency initiatives. Broadening understanding of the country’s public finances can help to frame more realistic citizen expectations and to build support for difficult policy choices. It can also help to offset the influence of narrow special interest groups and to avoid public debates being conducted in jargon by those “in the know”. Access to information is a precondition for citizens to: understand how a government is using its entrusted powers to tax, borrow, and spend public resources; become involved in informed public debate during the budget process; and hold a government properly to account.

Ambition/Impact
By reporting and explaining budget decisions and the state of the public finances with simplicity and clarity, the government can help to demystify the budget beyond the often necessarily technically complex detail in the budget documentation. A Citizens’ Budget will serve the public and it will also serve the government by enhancing public knowledge about the budget and the reasoning behind the choices made in putting it together.

Category/Theme
Access to Information/Citizen Participation

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Author: NI Open Government Network Date: 08 February 2018

Problem or issue to be addressed
It is important that citizens are aware of who is meeting with government ministers and potentially influencing government decisions.

Objective
Northern Ireland Executive Ministers publish diary information about departmental business in an open data format on a quarterly basis.


Relevance to Open Government
More transparency and accountability would restore integrity to government and make politicians more accountable to the people they serve.

Ambition/Impact
To increase public accountability, transparency and openness regarding ministerial activity.

Category/Theme
Access to Information/Public Accountability

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Author: NI Open Government Network Date: 08 February 2018

Problem or issue to be addressed
Secret lobbying is an issue of public concern. It goes to the heart of why people are disillusioned with politics and there is a lack of trust in government. It is important that citizens are aware of who is meeting with government ministers and potentially influencing government decisions. And a lobbying register would allow public scrutiny of lobbying activity. A refusal to introduce genuine transparency reinforces the perception that public scrutiny is something politicians would rather avoid.

Objective
The government explore the potential for the introduction of a statutory register of lobbyists to help regulate lobbying and ensure greater transparency.

Relevance to Open Government
More transparency and accountability would restore integrity to government and make politicians more accountable to the people they serve.

Ambition/Impact
The fundamental purpose of introducing a register of lobbyists is to allow the public to examine and understand the activities of lobbyists, to improve government accountability and ultimately to rebuild public trust in government.

Category/Theme
Access to Information/Public Accountability

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