Submissions for the Interim Working Group are now closed

Stakeholder expressions of interest to join the Interim Working Group for Australia’s National Action Plan have now closed, with approximately 40 submissions received.

We are extremely pleased with the quality of the submissions, the diversity of applicants and the extensive experience they offer.

The large number of submissions reflects the ongoing interest and public engagement with Australia’s process to join the Open Government Partnership. Regardless of who is selected for the Interim Working Group, we look forward to continuing to work with all interested parties as we co-draft Australia’s first National Action Plan.

We are endeavouring to notify applicants of the outcome of their submission over the coming days. PM&C is also engaging with key agencies to finalise the government members of the Interim Working Group.

As always, any enquiries can be submitted to this blog or to

Third Inter-Departmental Committee meeting

On Friday 19 August, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet convened the third meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) on the Open Government Partnership.

The meeting provided members an update on Australia’s progress to join the Open Government Partnership, outlined the establishment of an Interim Working Group to co-draft Australia’s first National Action Plan, and asked agencies to provide views on the list of proposed commitments received through earlier consultations.

In attendance were:

  • Attorney General’s Department
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Australian Public Service Commission
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Communications and the Arts
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Environment
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Department of Infrastructure
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Digital Transformation Office
  • National Archives of Australia
  • Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
  • Treasury

Meeting minutes can be accessed and downloaded here: OGP IDC – 19 August 2016 – Minutes.

The next meeting of the IDC will be held on Friday 16 September.

Interim Working Group for Australia’s National Action Plan – Expressions of Interest

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) is calling for stakeholder expressions of interest to join an Interim Working Group to help co-draft Australia’s National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

The Interim Working Group will build upon the civil society consultations conducted from December 2015 to April 2016. Proposed commitments submitted by stakeholders can be accessed here.

The Interim Working Group will consider and prioritise commitments for possible inclusion in the draft National Action Plan which will be considered by the Government before its submission to the OGP by 1 November 2016.

A draft Terms of Reference setting out the role of the Interim Working Group and arrangements for membership can be accessed here. The draft Terms of Reference will be considered by the Interim Working Group at its first meeting.

This will be Australia’s first National Action Plan. It is intended to provide a foundation to further engage with civil society and identify new initiatives over time that will strengthen transparency, accountability and public participation in government.


The Interim Working Group is expected to have up to 12 members. It will comprise equal representation of government officials and a range of civil society stakeholders.

EOIs must outline relevant experience and expertise related to supporting transparency, accountability and open government. The Interim Working Group will be co-chaired by a senior government official and a civil society representative. Please indicate in your EOI if you are interested in co-chairing the Working Group.

Candidates must be available over August-September 2016 and must be able to attend:

  • a minimum of 3 tele/videoconference meetings; and
  • a face-to-face workshop (date and location TBC).

Remuneration will not be provided. If required, government will work with civil society groups to help cover travel costs and associated expenses for the workshop.

In assessing EOIs for members and co-chair, PM&C will consider:

  • the breadth and diversity of representatives (across demographics, geographic regions, and access to a variety of sectors and industries);
  • experience in open government, using open data and engaging with stakeholders and/or government; and
  • for co-chairs, experience in chairing similar groups.

EOIs should be no more than one page in length and be submitted via email to by 5pm on Wednesday, 24 August 2016.

OGP Update – 3 August

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) will be seeking to further engage with the public, civil society organisations and other interest groups over the course of August and September to finalise the Australian Government’s 2016 National Action Plan (NAP) to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) by the end of October 2016.

Building on the consultations and work that took place in the first half of 2016, we are eager to continue working together to settle a set of commitments that not only meet government and civil society’s objectives, but also meet the core OGP requirement that the NAP be developed publically and transparently in a spirit of genuine partnership.

We hope to use this process to jointly review the key proposals put forward through the initial workshops and to identify new proposals where appropriate.  It will also allow us to take account of the outcomes from the United Kingdom Anti‑Corruption Summit held in May 2016 and other countries NAPs as appropriate, to raise the overall aspiration of the Plan.

Further details will be provided shortly on the form of these consultations and engagement. We would welcome suggestions from interested parties.

Results of the co-creation workshop and ongoing engagement

Last Monday, 11th April 2016, we held the co-creation workshop for Australia’s first National Action Plan (NAP) for Open Government. Stakeholders from civil society and Government came together in Canberra to discuss suggest actions, prioritise them and draft commitment templates. It was momentous day. Our agenda was ambitious and the results excellent. We were productive because of the goodwill and hard work of those in the room.

I’ve had really positive feedback about the workshop from participants in both civil society and government. The team leading development of the NAP at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) have are pleased with the event, participation and the outputs generated.

Participants in the co-creation workshop
Everyone who provided a suggested action was invited to attend the workshop. Participants included:

  • 36 from Civil Society – NGO’s and individuals who had suggested Open Gov actions
  • 4 from PM&C including the Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Transformation
  • 15 from Federal Government agencies including: Digital Transformation Office; Department of Finance; National Archives; Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • 1 from the Assistant Minister Taylor’s Office
  • The Information Commissioner from NSW
  • 2 from the International Open Government Partnership Support Unit
  • 2 from State Governments
  • 2 from engage2 to facilitate and manage the process

Prioritisation of actions and development of commitment templates
Participants at the workshop discussed the 210 actions suggested by civil society and those suggested by agencies through the InterDepartmental Committee (IDC). Actions were grouped into 18 proposals which were then prioritised by participants and turned into 14 commitment templates. The agenda, outputs of the workshop and details of attendees are available on this page of the wiki.

What happens next?
The proposals, priorities and commitment templates that came out of the workshop have now been taken by PM&C to executives in agencies nominated to lead their delivery. Only 5-15 commitments will be included in the NAP and these will be decided by Cabinet, who must sign off on the NAP before it is submitted to the OGP in July.

See the most recent draft of the National Action Plan on this wiki.

Ongoing engagement for OGPAU
During the workshop we discussed how Open Government Partnership might be managed in future, captured lessons learned and explored opportunities for ongoing engagement. The notes from this session have been recorded on this page of the wiki, and we would like to invite those of you not in the room to contribute to this discussion. PM&C are using this information to develop a commitment around ongoing engagement and their advice Government about the coordination of OGP delivery. I will also reflect this input in my engagement report. Please provide your thoughts before the 14th May so we can use it in our recommendations.

Supporting the delivery of Open Gov across Australia
After Monday’s workshop, our international guests from the OGP Support Unit and I met with stakeholders working toward driving open government across Australia. The Australian Open Government Partnership Network (civil society) also coordinated events in Sydney and Melbourne. We discussed ongoing engagement for OGP, how we might raise awareness about Open Government in Australia and the Sub-National OGP program.

I would like to acknowledge and thank those of you who participated in this process especially those of you involved in Monday’s event. PM&C and I have been really impressed by your contributions, insights and the commitment you have shown to Open Government in Australia. It’s been an honour getting to know you all and learning more about your work. Throughout this project I have been capturing what I have learned about Open Government in Australia. This input will also be included in my engagement report in late May.  Please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to include.

To build upon the goodwill created throughout this project and advance Open Government in Australia I would like to share your contact details with PM&C, the Federal Agencies responsible for OGPAU commitments, teams coordinating Open Government in State Government, and others in Civil Society keen to connect with you on this topic. If you would like to provide consent for any or all of these uses of your personal information, please complete this 2 minute survey so I know who to share your details with. This survey will be open until the 14th May.


Stage three: prioritisation and drafting workshop

Submissions for the Australia’s first National Action Plan for Open Government have now closed. You can view and comment on the suggested actions on the wiki. This marks the end of Stage 2 of our engagement process, which was designed to raise awareness and gather suggestions for actions for the National Action Plan. Submissions were open from December and 31st March.

We received 210 suggested actions, and from 93 individuals and organisations. The level of investment of those who participated in this process has been really impressive and the insight and experience of participants is evident in the quality of submissions we received. There is considerable passion and commitment to open government from our community.

We have now commenced Stage 3 of the process to develop the National Action Plan (NAP) and are working with those who suggested actions to prioritise them and draft the NAP document. Individuals and organisations who suggested an action have now been invited to join agency staff at a co-creation workshop in Canberra this Monday, the 11th April 2016.

During this workshop participants will work together to develop the National Action Plan, completing commitment templates provided by the international Open Government Partnership. Representatives from civil society and government agencies will discuss all suggested actions so they can be grouped and prioritised. Two members of the International Open Government Partnership Support Unit will also be at the workshop to lend their support with this process.

This week PM&C held their second Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) meeting to discuss actions suggested, existing Open Government initiatives to include in the background section and build upon, and the priorities of government agencies for the NAP in the lead up to the workshop. On Wednesday, this wiki page was updated with the most recent version of the background and methodology sections of the National Action Plan document. A blog update was also sent out by PM&C to share who attended the IDC, what was discussed, and potential commitments that the Agencies have come up with in response to submissions received and from their own research and analysis.

During Monday’s workshop participants will also hear from the Deputy Secretary of Innovation and Transformation, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and representatives of various Federal Government Departments about how Open Government is being implemented in Australia and government priorities for the NAP.

All actions suggestions will be discussed at the workshop on Monday, but the National Action Plan can only include 5-15 commitments. Even if a suggested action is not included in the NAP, if there is group support on Monday to co-create a draft commitment template, PM&C has agreed to brief nominated lead agencies about them after the event.

The agenda for this workshop is available here. The opening of this workshop will be live webcast through GoogleHangout from 9:00 – 10:15am so you can see the opening and ask questions of our speakers. Here is the link to the GoogeHangout – a public event anyone can attend online.

We will provide you with an update about the outcomes of this process after the workshop next week.



Second Inter-Departmental Committee meeting

On Tuesday 5 April, the Government convened a second interdepartmental committee (IDC) meeting on the Open Government Partnership. The meeting covered the public submissions received to date, discussed attendance at the public workshop to be held on Monday 11 April, and talked more broadly about the Open Government Partnership process going forward, and how agencies will be involved.

In attendance were:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Australian Public Service Commission
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Employment
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
  • Department of the Environment
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Digital Transformation Office
  • National Archives of Australia
  • Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Also discussed at the meeting were a range of potential commitments that the Agencies have come up with either in response to submissions received, or from their own research and analysis.

The outlines of these are below, and they will be open for discussion at the public workshop.

  • Centralised Annual Report discovery portal
  • Create a Digital Marketplace
  • Create, manage and preserve information digitally
  • Enable and encourage more data-driven digital report publishing
  • Future-proofing open data infrastructure
  • redevelopment
  • ICT Project dashboard
  • Redesign the open data request process
  • Scoping a public consultation platform
  • Scoping an e-Tabling system
  • Transforming high volume services

In addition, we are releasing a draft of the document to contain the commitments once decided on.  The majority of the text is from the wiki and other submissions, and has been kept deliberately concise and easy to read, in line with other countries National Action Plans.  It is available for download at National Action Plan DRAFT v5 – For Release

We have also posted the text onto the wiki at for your comments and feedback prior to the meeting on Monday.

OGPAU theme teleconference times

If you have suggested an action for Australian National Action Plan for Open Government you will received an invite to a teleconference with others whose actions relate to the same theme from me shortly.

The purpose of the teleconferences is to compliment the wiki. I thought it would be good to introduce you to each other and discuss actions suggested prior to the closing of submissions on the 31st March. The intent is to increase the lines of communication between you before you meet in person at the event in Canberra on the 11th April.

I apologise for the late notice but it is okay if you can not attend you might like to introduce yourself and comment on other actions through the wiki.

The following teleconferences will be held on Tuesday the 29th March:

  • 13:00 – 14:00 Fiscal Transparency
  • 14:30 – 15:30 Fostering innovation
  • 15:30 – 16:30 Freedom of Information
  • 16:30 – 17:30 Government Integrity

The following teleconferences will be held on Wednesday the 30th March:

  • 12:00 – 13:00 Open Data
  • 13:00 – 14:00 Public Service Delivery
  • 14:30 – 15:30 Resource Management
  • 15:30 – 16:30 Public Participation
  • 17:00 – 18:00 Ongoing Engagement for OGPAU

I will host the teleconference and post a summary of the discussion at the bottom of each theme page on the wiki at the end of each day.

I have also set aside some time in my calendar on Thursday the 31st between 11am – 1pm for anyone who might be thinking about suggesting an action so we can workshop it before submissions close at 5pm.

I’ll be back in touch with invites as soon as I get out of my next meeting with the Open Government Steering Committee in NSW.


Engagement update – 22 March

We now have 70 suggested actions for how to Open Government in Australia on the wiki. Have you made your suggestion yet? Submissions close at 5pm on the 31st March.

Save the date! Everyone who suggests an action will be invited to help co-create the National Action Plan (NAP) in Canberra for a day long workshop on the 11th April with Federal Government staff from the agencies most likely to lead actions. I will be in touch with those of you who have suggested an action with more information. We know this time frame is tight but it is necessary for us to meet Cabinet and OGP timelines.

Need help? This how to Suggest an Action document provides some tips. It’s an easy process to navigate; it took me 10 minutes to add two suggestions of my own this morning. Please get in touch if you’d like any support.

In my last update I mentioned I was going to Canberra to work with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to discuss themes and drafting on the wiki. We grouped all actions provided to date into the following themes:

We have added actions as discussion points so you can now comment on each action suggested.

Toby and the Open Government team at PM&C have been discussing these themes with agencies who could lead delivery of a commitment in that area. Many have also expressed excitement about the actions suggested and several are keen to get involved. PM&C are now working with these agencies to prepare them for the 11th April workshop.

Some questions that emerged during engagement last week

  • After the current awareness raising and crowd sourcing stage, what is the process for co-creating the National Action Plan going to look like?
  • How will the Government deal with actions that are suggested outside of the Grand Challenges?
  • What happened to the proposed teleconference?
  • How will we prioritise actions and turn them into 5-15 commitments?

Responses to your questions

Cocreation – The National Action Plan will be cocreated by those suggesting actions, lead agencies and the Prime Minister and Cabinet Open Government team, but whatever we suggest must be agreed to in Cabinet. The workshop in Canberra will be where civil society and representatives from government agencies come together. Everyone who suggests an action will be invited to attend. There can only be 5-15 actions in the action plan. During the workshop agencies will host theme based discussions to shape the OGP NAP commitment templates with you.

Grand challenges – The Government has made it clear the two Grand Challenges are their focus, but they are willing to consider other suggestions outside of these areas. At the workshop we will develop commitments for all actions suggested, or groups of actions as we prioritise and cluster them. Toby will share more about Government’s position on this soon.

Teleconference – I will be emailing those of you who have suggested an action to invite you to a teleconference on the 29th or 30th March so you can meet others who have suggested actions within the same themes, to discuss similarities, differences and priorities before the 11th April event.

Working together to prioritise actions – We need to work together to prioritise suggestions if we are going to help Government narrow them down. I’d like to help you / civil society / us, to start discussing that now before the workshop on the 11th April. There are two ways you can get involved in this process:

  • Comment on actions on the wiki – I will start asking questions discussions about similarities, differences between actions and how they might be grouped or sequenced on the wiki and encourage your involvement.
  • In a theme based teleconference – I will be emailing those of you who have suggested an action to invite you to a teleconference on the 29th or 30th March, to introduce you to others with similar suggestions, so we can discuss your ideas and priorities before the 11th April event.

Actions that you have inspired me to take

Based on your input to date I am now:

  • Encouraging theme based engagement – I will be running teleconferences with those who have suggested actions under a theme. If you have suggested an action, you will receive a separate email from me about this.
  • Encouraging feedback from others on actions – actions have now been themed into groups with each posted as a discussion point on the wiki. We are looking for your thoughts about similarities, differences and opportunities to cluster actions so we can narrow down and prioritise with you at the workshop.
  • Connecting Australians to the working groups and Open Government Partnership Support Unit, Regional Civil Society Coordinator Shreya Basu:
  • Investigating privacy and consent requirements for publishing stakeholder details – I am still pursing this with PM&C.
  • Researching ongoing engagement forums being used in other Countries to engage stakeholders about Open Government Partnership after action plans are developed. I have discussed my initial thoughts with the Australian Open Government Partnership Networks.

Thanks for reading my update. My next update will be after Easter, and will include the runsheet proposed for the event on the 11th April.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your ideas and ways you might be more involved.