OGP Steering Committee at their September 24th meeting in New York adopted a new policy and define how partnership will act when member country ‘taking actions that undermine the values and principles of OGP’.
The policy is titled “Upholding the Values and Principles of OGP, as articulated in the Open Government Declaration” and it has two tightly defined objectives:
- Assist a country in question to overcome difficulties and to help re-establish an environment for government and civil society collaboration
- Safeguard the Open Government Declaration and mitigate reputational risks to OGP.
The new policy acknowledges that there may be issues outside the scope of National Action Plans that have a major impact on successful participation in OGP, and creates an opportunity to address them. This may include restrictions on basic freedoms, access to information and the overall enabling environment for civil society. To maintain the OGP’s credibility – and safeguard its long-term future – it is important that participating countries uphold these values and principles, as expressed in the Open Government Declaration.
The OGP Steering Committee and Support Unit will begin implementing this policy immediately. At the end of one year of implementation there will be a review of whether or not the policy is delivering on its objectives.
The OGP Articles of Governance ask the Criteria and Standards subcommittee to make a recommendation to the Steering Committee when a review of a country’s participation in OGP is necessary.
If the concerns are found to be valid, then OGP will focus primarily on positive interventions that seek to help countries overcome challenges. This could include technical and political support from other OGP countries, OGP’s multilateral partners, or an OGP working group. If these interventions fail to address the problem then other measures will be considered by the full OGP Steering Committee, including inviting the government concerned to a special session or listing a country as inactive until the concern is resolved.