Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Less than open III

Heard the details of the government's open government strategy? Of course you haven't - because its secret. And from a recent OIA, it sounds as if it will stay that way for the forseeable future:

The development of an Open Government Strategy was initiated in late 2017, with a View to consulting on it in parallel with the 2018-20 OGP National Action Plan (as noted in the 29 November 2017 document Open Government Strategy Update). This work was led by the Minister of State Services (Open Government) until August 2018, when Open Government initiatives reverted to the Minister of State Services.

Since that time the focus of the Open Government work has been on progressing the OGP Plan 2018-20, reviewing the implementation of the 2016-28 [sic] Plan, and delivering the policy on the proactive release of Cabinet papers. SSC has engaged with the Minister of State Services on a re-focused Open Government Strategy, and this work will continue in 2019.

With the change of responsible Minister, and the re-focus of the Open Government Strategy, we consider that the Strategy remains under active consideration. We have therefore decided to decline your request for unredacted versions of the documents below under [s9(2)(f)(iv).]

Its worth noting here that while they supposedly planned to consult on the strategy in parallel with the OGP consultation, they never bothered. The entire thing has been done in secret, without any input from the public. And as with Andrew Little's secret OIA review (now delayed until after the Privacy Bill is reported back), it gives the impression that Labour thinks that "open government" is something best kept out of public hands entirely.