Friday, July 01, 2016

Open government: Late

Its the 1st of July. New Zealand's second National Action Plan under the Open Government partnership was officially due in yesterday, but the government has not even started public consultation yet. So we are now officially late - again.

The OGP has a four month grace period before it gets upset. The government is relying on using it to consult on, develop and finalise the action plan, submitting it right at the end of October. There's no real reason for this delay other than they can't be arsed meeting the deadline, so this is an abuse of the OGP's rules. And if they're a day late, then we're in trouble. We've already had one formal warning for lateness; a second one means we will be sent to the OGP's Criteria and Standards Subcommittee and possibly ejected.

And to be honest, we'd deserve it. The New Zealand government has never taken the OGP seriously, never made the sorts of commitments required by the partnership, never even been on time with any OGP obligation. We are, at best, a reluctant participant, dragged into it against our will ("as a favour to the Brits"), unwilling to do what is required. And if that's going to be the style of our participation, the sooner we're thrown out, the better.