The UK Government has made last minute changes to its Open Government National Action Plan (NAP), ignoring civil society's calls for ‘public standards’ commitments and risking being asked to leave the international Open Government Partnership.
On Monday this week, the UK Government published its UK National Action Plan for Open Government 2021-2023 - the UK's fifth National Action Plan (NAP). This plan is designed to 'make[s] commitments to increase transparency, accountability, and public participation in government'.
Involve supports the UK Open Government Network (UK OGN) - a coalitions of active citizens and civil society organisations committed to making government work better for people through transparency, participation and accountability, and who help coordinate civil society's engagement with developing the Government's National Action Plans for Open Government.
Individuals and organisations volunteered thousands of hours over the last year to provide insight into what the Government's plan needed to include. Unfortunately, the UK OGN has been profoundly disappointed with the Government's NAP5 and has therefore published a press release sharing our collective anger at the last minute removals of key promises, and a failure to engage in areas of reform.
The UK OGN also warned the UK could be asked to leave the 78 country-strong Open Government Partnership - an international initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to fight corruption - despite being a founding member; it is currently ‘under review’ following failures to reach the required standard in the previous two plans.
The Open Government National Action Plan was a unique opportunity for the UK government to work with civil society to develop a clear roadmap to increase accountability and transparency. Instead, the government has chosen to water-down and remove key commitments. We are calling on the UK Government to do better, and show the rest of the world that the UK still values open, transparent and accountable politics.
We look forward to working with them, and the OGP, to identify a way forward that delivers on these values.