I would define open Government as a commitment to consultation, to partnership and participation, and to greater accountability.
Last year, for example, the people were consulted on two major issues in referenda, the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, and the question of the right to life, the right to travel and the right to information. Further consultation of the people on the question of divorce is planned by 1994. I have instructed all my Ministers to give the maximum possible amount of information in reply to parliamentary questions.
I consulted with the other party leaders on a number of important occasions. I have had prepared a radical programme of Dáil reform, which will improve openness and accountability and the role and effectivenes of the Dáil as a control on the Executive. I am the first political leader to have given a comprehensive public statement of my financial interests. There has been a continued open commitment to social partnership with trade unions, farmers and employers, which is now complemented by partnership in Government with the Labour Party.
Government buildings have been opened to the public. I have ensured that all Government records are fully open to historians after 30 years, in accordance with the legislation.
I and the Government are committed to a comprehensive and enlightened programme of social reform and equality which will open up opportunities for disadvantaged groups in our society. I made it clear from early last year that I want nothing to do with closed or golden circles, and that Government should be accessible and open to all. I am satisfied that I have made some progress towards creating a more open Government and society.