Friday, November 18, 2011

Labour on open government

Labour has released its open government policy [PDF]. It's short, but sweet: proactive release of all Cabinet papers, an "Open Government" charter based on transparency, open licensing, and interaction, and a push to improve the transparency of Parliament and reduce the use of urgency. The big criticism? It doesn't go far enough, especially in the latter. For example, there's no suggestion of bringing Parliament under the OIA, to allow proper transparency around MPs expenses (or indeed, a public right to access its proceedings and oversee its administration). Despite the high degree of public input, this is still an open government policy written by and in the interests of politicians, who benefit from secrecy in these areas. Still, it is much better than anything else on offer in this area, and deserves our support (while of course demanding more).