Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Open Government: A timeline for ejection

Its official: Paula Bennett has unilaterally granted herself a four month extension on submitting its second Open Government Partnership national action plan:

The processes we are considering mean that we will not be able to submit our 2016-18 National Action Plan by 30 June 2016. We want our engagement processes to be more inclusive and believe it is preferable to allow time for this to happen.

That said, we will submit our 2016-18 National Action Plan by the end of October 2016.

The problem? The OGP absolutely does not grant extensions. The rules regarding delays (p. 36) in their Government Point of Contact Manual are crystal clear:
1. Countries should deliver their NAP and Self-Assessment Reports on time. This calendar provides advance notice on all due dates in order to avoid future delays. In order to take full advantage of economies of scale, and to ensure transparency in operations so all OGP countries are treated fairly, the IRM will not modify or rearrange any of their product deadlines to accommodate delays from countries. NAPs and Self-Assessment Reports will be considered delivered when they are uploaded to the OGP website.

2. If a country submits their NAP or Self-Assessment Report late, the delay will be noted in the IRM report.

3. If a country delivers its new NAP more than four months late, the IRM will document this and, working with the Support Unit, will refer the case to the Criteria and Standards Subcommittee of the OGP Steering Committee. The country will receive a letter from the Support Unit noting this occurrence. The same rules apply to the late submission of the self-assessment reports.

[Emphasis added]

We've already had one such letter; a second one will put us immediately into review by the OGP's Criteria and Standards subcommittee. In other words, if Bennett is even one day late delivering this (and her record on this is not good), we may be thrown out of the OGP.

Heckuva job she's doing, isn't it?