Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Ceisteanna (19, 44)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

19. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date on which Ireland will join the Open Government Partnership. [42522/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

44. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when it is intended that Ireland will join the Open Government Partnership. [42519/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 44 together.

Following Government approval, I submitted a letter of intent for Ireland to participate in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on 15 May 2013 and Ireland therefore joined the 4th cohort of new countries who will formulate an Open Government Partnership national action plan. The OGP is a global multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. It is overseen by a multi-stakeholder International Steering Committee consisting of Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as civil society representatives.

Recognising the critical importance of the full participation of civil society interests in this process, proposals for inclusion in the action plan were discussed at three public meetings of a network of civil society and other interests held over the summer months, as well as through online contributions. This public consultation process was coordinated by Transparency International Ireland following a tender process undertaken by this Department.

The Report of a Consultation with Civil Society Representatives and Citizens on Ireland's Participation in the Open Government Partnership process was submitted to my Department on 1st October. Development of Ireland's first national action plan is therefore now well under way. It is anticipated that Ireland's draft action plan will be submitted for final approval by Government before the end of 2013. Countries become full members of the OGP when they submit their action plans by posting the final versions on the OGP website and endorse the Open Government Declaration. It is expected that Ireland will become a full member no later than 31st March 2014.

I wish to highlight that developing the action plan is just the first step. Officials, together with colleagues in all relevant Government Departments will continue to work with civil society in monitoring the implementation of the plan over the coming years. Action plans cover a two-year period and we will report on progress on an annual basis. Action plans are living documents and can be updated as needed.