Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Open Government: The PSA's view

The consultation on New Zealand's Open Government Partnership second national action plan has wrapped up, and everything is back in the secretive hands of SSC. In the meantime, the PSA has published their suggested commitments (which had already been submitted online). They include

  • adopting the Law Commission's recommendation to extend the OIA to cover Parliament and create an "Official Information Authority" to provide training and advice;
  • publishing a citizen's budget to improve fiscal transparency;
  • providing better guidance for state servants and Ministers around free and frank advice;
  • confirming the right of state servants to participate as private individuals in political activities;
  • protecting government contractors from retaliation for speaking out on public issues;
  • extending both the OIA and the good employer provisions of the State Sector Act to cover contractors and contracted-out services.
Some of this stuff is only tenuously connected with open government, but there's also some solid ideas in there. It remains to be seen whether SSC will pass any of them on to Ministers as options for reform, or just round file everything in favour of their pre-determined agenda.