#84 Helen Owens on Open Government
Helen Owens joins the InTransition Podcast to talk about the Open Government Partnership. Helen is the principal advisor on public data policy at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra, Australia. She provides whole of government advice on data strategy and its applications.
In this episode Helen talks to David Pembroke about:
- what is the global Open Government Partnership?
- what is the benefit to citizens?
- how OGP is the next level of stakeholder engagement
- encouraging policy makers to cooperate
- managing expectations of citizens
- overcoming difficulties in the process within government
- educating the public on the complexity of government
- how the OGP is progressing overseas
- implications for industry transparency, company registers and government contracting
- the open data agenda
- how open data can reduce the need for FOI’s
Listen to the podcast:
How Helen describes Open Government:
“The Open Government Partnership is a multi-lateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen the governance around policy decisions in government.
It’s actually a really exciting opportunity for government to engage much more closely with the citizens on policy development and decisions that government are taking. It’s an opportunity for civil society and government to come together to work through issues around transparency, accountability of government public participation in policy decision making and innovation for our country and our region.
Australia is certainly starting from a high base. We have a long tradition of openness and transparency. Government agencies are already in this country required to publish their annual reports, budgets, contracts to enable oversight and transparency. We also make bills and legislation open as well as parliamentary transcripts and we make all those things already open to civil society. Essentially what’s in it for the country if you like is this fantastic opportunity for citizens to be engaged in the decisions of government and this is a pretty new and exciting opportunity for us.”