Australia joins open government forum

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Australia joins open government forum
A-G Mark Dreyfus, QC. Source: Wikimedia

National action plan to be delivered.

Australia will join the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral transparency initiative with 55 other countries as members.

Set up in 2011, the OGP aims to promote transparency in government, citizen participation and fight corruption.

Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Australia has a "wealth of knowledge and experience to share with other nations in the partnership."

He said the Federal government has made strides in transparency since 2008 through freedom of information reforms, establishing the role of the information commissioner, and by building a central repository for public government data.

Dreyfus said Government 2.0 principles had been adopted to provide the public with access to government information along with guidance for public sector agencies on how to achieve this.

Joining the partnership was welcomed by the information commissioner, professor John McMillan, who said it complements the substantial work undertaken in recent years to develop government information policies, promote innovation through open data and embrace the digital economy.

Australia will now endorse the OGP declaration and deliver a country action plan after public consultation, McMillan said.

The British government has already concluded its national OGP action plan, and published the results of a self-assessment test in April this year.

Several other countries' governments are moving to open data platforms. Earlier this month, United States president Barack Obama signed an executive order that sets out an open data policy for the country's government. 

Official US government information will be published using open, machine readable formats, for easy access to and sharing of information.

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