Friday, February 05, 2016

Open Government: More foot dragging

The story of New Zealand's participation in the Open Government partnership continues to devolve into a farce. First, we dragged our feet on joining; then, after a deliberately farcical mockery of "consultation", we submitted an utterly unambitious list of "commitments" that consisted of things we were doing anyway. And now it turns out that we can't even meet our deadlines.

The OGP has a clear timetable for every country to develop its action plans and submit its self-assessment reports. According to this timetable, New Zealand's mid-term self-assessment report was due on September 30, 2015. But according to an email I received today from the OGP (under their disclosure policy),

The government of New Zealand is yet to send a final approved version of the self-assessment report, but it has submitted a draft which is also posted on their national site ( We expect a final version to be submitted very soon. Once received, we will post to our site at

I understand that an extension was negotiated to allow them to re-do their consultation, but they finished that process in October. So why have they failed to submit the final report for another three months? Again, its a sign that there's simply no commitment to or engagement with the partnership; that they signed up only for PR purposes and seek to do as little as possible (and even that begrudgingly).