Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Less than open

Remember the Minister for Open Government? Last year she was publicly shamed in the House over her apparent refusal of a fairly standard OIA request (a refusal which it turns out was directed by a Senior Ministerial Advisor in the PM's office). But eventually she started releasing the basic lists of briefings people had been asking for, so I took the opportunity to request her Open Government Partnership briefings to see what she's been doing. The short version:

  • SSC is currently planning the engagement process around the 2018-20 OGP National Action Plan. There's an acknowledgement that they need to spend more time on it to better engage with the public, which is good.
  • Curran took a paper to Cabinet about proactive release of government information. Unfortunately, all the details are secret.
  • SSC has been thinking about a new "strategic approach" to Open Government. All the details of that are secret too.
  • Curran was invited to attend the OGP Asia Pacific Leaders Forum 2017 in December. But as there's no mention of it either in her official press releases or Twitter feed, it appears she blew it off and dumped the job on the local NZ ambassador instead.

Of course, that's just November. But if she's been doing more open government work since, she's kept it... secret. Which isn't exactly what I'd expect from a Minister of Open Government.