Australia to join the global Open Government Partnership

Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan has welcomed the announcement today by the Attorney-General the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP that Australia will join the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

‘Joining the OGP will move Australia closer to a strong global open government movement. The OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance,’ said Professor McMillan.

‘Australia will join almost 60 other countries in the OGP as diverse as the United States, Argentina, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Jordan and South Korea. We believe that Australia is well placed to make a valuable contribution to global open government trends. At a regional level Australia’s ties will be strengthened with countries that are active OGP participants.’

Participation will also complement the substantial work undertaken in recent years in Australia to develop government information policy, promote innovation through open data and embrace the digital economy.

‘Joining the OGP will enable Australia to showcase the reforms that it has undertaken, reflect on the adequacy of those reforms, and leverage off initiatives other participating countries have commenced. In light of Australia’s strong commitment to open government and digital innovation, OGP participation is not likely to pose a practical or policy difficulty,’ Professor McMillan said.

On joining the OGP Australia will be required to endorse the OGP declaration and deliver a country action plan, following public consultation.

‘The heart of a country action plan is a new open government commitment that is to be addressed in the first year of OGP membership, yet may take longer to achieve. Performance in achieving this commitment will be monitored through an independent assessment process,’ said Professor McMillan.

The country commitment must address one of the five OGP ‘grand challenges’: improving public services; increasing public integrity; more effectively managing public resources; creating safer communities; and increasing corporate accountability. A commitment must also reflect four open government principles: transparency; citizen participation; accountability; and technology and innovation.

‘Participation in the OGP will further strengthen the practice of democratic government in Australia. I look forward to Australia taking the next step in this important agenda,’ Professor McMillan said.

For further information please contact: Nicole Douglass 0407 663 968

Background information

For more information about the Open Government Partnership see

For more information about the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) visit

People can keep in touch with the OAIC by subscribing to:

•    OAICnet — a mailing list for general updates about the OAIC’s activities

•    Privacy Connections — a network for private sector privacy contact officers

Information Contact Officer Network (ICON) — a network for public sector privacy (and FOI) contact officers.

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