Thursday, August 04, 2016

Open government: Engage!

For the past ten days, the State services Commission and Engage2 have been running a public engagement process on the development of New Zealand's second Open Government partnership National Action Plan. And now, finally, we have something to engage on, with a chance to provide input on the draft background for the action plan.

The draft background is on the engagement platform here. Its basicly the introduction: where we are now, what was in our first action plan (spun to present it as something other than the complete disaster it was independently assessed as by the IRM), and (supposedly) what they learned (supposedly because its pretty clear from this process that they didn't learn anything). At the end of it, it asks three questions:

  • How could we improve on New Zealand’s last National Action Plan?
  • What does open government mean to you in practice?
  • What do you think should be the themes of the second National Action Plan for Open Government should be? e.g. Open data, engagement, open budgets?
As usual for SSC's "engagement", there's no provision for telling them anything else (but you cna always email I suppose). Still, these are useful questions at this stage, though given the expected timeframe there's not going to be a lot of time to adapt proposed commitments to preferred themes (assuming SSC has any intention to). It is important that you answer this. SSC clearly has some ideas about what it wants to see in the action plan - in particular, using it as a tool to legitimise their "big brother" Integrated Data Infrastructure - basicly, combining all the information the government collects on you into one big pile for data mining - and their social investment agenda. Neither of which have anything to do with open government. Its important to go on record if you oppose this, both in the hope of changing it, and because that opposition will be noted by the OGP's Independent Reporting Mechanism and potentially result in adverse consequences for the government.

Submissions apparently close on August 20.