EDIT 31ST MARCH - Today is the deadline for suggested actions. You are welcome, and we encourage you, to comment on actions suggested on this wiki but submissions are now closed. Any actions suggested as topics for discussion after today will not be considered in the development of this National Action Plan. This cut off date is necessary for us to collate suggestions, brief agencies about your ideas and prepare for the workshop. Those of you who have made a suggestion will receive an invitation to an all day workshop in Canberra on the 11th April to discuss suggested actions with agencies and work with them to co-create commitment templates to be considered for inclusion in the National Action Plan.


5-15 commitments will be developed based on these actions for Australia's first National Action Plan. To find out more about these requirements see: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/how-it-works/requirements

PLEASE DO NOT ADD NEW TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION / SUGGESTED ACTIONS. YOU ARE WELCOME TO:
  • Expand on your ideas to include your thoughts on what successful implementation of the idea would looks like, mechanisms to monitor and track progress, what organisations would be best placed to implement the idea, and your name as a proposer. Stage 3 of the OGPau consultation will include a workshop to really flesh out these details.
  • Discuss the pros, cons and details of your collective ideas.

You will need to create an account and enter the join code "DPJ74T9" which you can also do by clicking this link: https://wikispaces.com/join/DPJ74T
The commitments suggested on this page are being migrated and grouped into theme-specific pages. Please add any further commitments (as comments) to the most appropriate theme page, and participate in the discussion there:
  • Public Participation – increased input into both policy and agenda setting, online methods, civic education and training for staff
  • Government Integrity – procurement, political donations, anti-corruption, parliamentary openness
  • Freedom of Information – review of the act, role of the commissioners, privacy, copyright review
  • Fiscal Transparency – open budget, political donations
  • Public Service Delivery – how Government works with community and industry, how citizens find services
  • Resources Management – sustainable development, working with indigenous communities, see also Open Data
  • Open Data – standardised formats, public register and open raw data, publishing practices for data and publications including natural resource data,
  • Fostering innovation – enabling and delivering innovation within Gov given budget and procurement processes, open innovation models that deliver innovation outcomes rather than tender to deliver outputs, support small to medium size businesses to use open data and deliver services.
  • Engagement for OGP – raising awareness now, engaging the States, forums for ongoing engagement, mentoring staff

The OGPau NAP coordination team at PM&C will play a facilitator role by continually cleaning up and consolidating the ideas and input provided on this wiki and through the blog attempting to stay as true as possible to the intent from contributors.

Open Data/Government Supporting Integrated Healthcare
The Australian government needs to deliver a simple, secure, inexpensive, and interconnected healthcare platform that enables all stakeholders to coordinate effectively, regardless of their location/locale. This vendor neutral platform should enable auditable collaboration across open, shared and linked data as well as permission-based cooperation around confidential data and cost/service level transparency. Delivery of this platform will address the issues involved in providing an integrated healthcare ecosystem to an ageing population across urban, suburban, rural and remote locations while also addressing the imperative to lower costs and eliminate wastage due to systemic errors and inefficiencies.
Proposed by: Kim Chandler McDonald and Michael McDonald - KimMic

Open Data - dealing with cross jurisdictional issues
Many policies dealing with the every day lives of people are administered by states which makes the state agencies the custodians. Such data-sets are important to the issues that the health and welfare sectors would like to see opened for better policy & funding transparency. Other than the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, the only other avenue of collaboration between jurisdictions in relation to the collection of data that I am aware of is the Cross Jurisdictional Open Data Government Community Forum which is a quarterly meeting that discusses open data case studies and issues.

I propose this cross jurisdictional committee be used to create a structure or process (separate to their private meetings) whereby the public can engage with the states to begin to harmonise the open data-sets that are produced by each state and territory so that data-sets on similar topics in each jurisdiction (eg traffic, crime) can be published in a consistent manner with regard to the fields they contain, the frequency with which they are updated and other characteristics that affect their re-use as open data.
Proposed by Rosie Williams @info_aus

Open Data/Government Cooperative Research Centre
An open data/open government Cooperative Research Centre would provide the infrastructure and research commitment required to make use of open data in the Australian context for policy, business and research purposes. It would also hook up the government's Innovation program with the open government agenda.
Proposed by: Rosie Williams

Compile a list of high value data-sets
Open data can provide useful input to both Grand Challenges of Improving Public Services and More Effectively Managing Public Resources. The government has done its own research on the benefit of administrative open data sets published by the Productivity Commission (2012-13). I think a useful goal for the OGP National Action Plan would be to compile a list of high value data-sets that can be used to contribute to better policy, transparency and accountability and then oversee the release of these data-sets along with implementing a feedback process to ensure the data produced is usable. This list should be created in collaboration with the public and provide a standard to facilitate maximising the value that can be created through open data.
Proposed by: Rosie Williams

Open up the procurement process to facilitate greater participation and public sector innovation
There's scope here to link the Government's OGP commitments to a new initiative in its National Innovation and Science Agenda, which states:
“We will challenge small to medium enterprises to deliver innovative solutions for government, rather than tendering for an existing product.”
Opening up the procurement process in this way -- over and above mere transparency – will facilitate greater participation and public sector innovation. It requires a commitment to an open innovation model, replacing or expanding existing tendering systems with open innovation platforms. A culture of openness early in policy program development is needed; current procurement focuses on outputs rather than outcomes, with little early external participation to validate the appropriateness of the outputs.
Innovation Australia's 2014 submission to the Inquiry into Commonwealth Procurement Procedures articulated it this way: "Agencies contemplating tenders should be required to give adequate notice of their intentions and take submissions regarding innovative possibilities."
Proposed by: Andrew Botros

Treasury to share information for maximum public engagement
Reported in the Australian Financial Review on February 22: “Treasury will accept more external advice after a review identified economic forecasting flaws that led successive governments to spend big under the misapprehension of relentlessly strong resources-led growth.”
I have written about Treasury’s poor forecasting previously (here is a visual summary), and I agree with the AFR article: bad forecasting has led to bad policy.
Much is made of budget transparency, but little is made of forecasting transparency. The assumptions of Treasury should be open to the public. If Treasury will accept more external advice, it should not keep the information it shares with external parties confidential. Treasury should share its information openly for maximum public engagement in forecasting, rather than accept the biases of a few external parties.
Interestingly, the US has included participatory budgeting in its October 2015 OGP commitments. I am not advocating participatory budgeting, only participatory forecasting.
Proposed by: Andrew Botros

Progress with implementation of EITI standard and introduce mandatory disclosure legislation for extractive companies
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Australia believes that the OGP can be used by Australia to improve extractives industry transparency. We support the comments made below by TIA and strongly endorse Australia progressing with implementation of the EITI standard. We also support the introduction of mandatory disclosure legislation that requires extractive companies listed or based in Australia to disclose all payments made to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis. This legislation should be harmonised with existing laws introduced by the European Union and Governments in Canada and the United States to the extent that that is possible.
Proposed by: Jessie Cato (PWYP Australia National Coordinator)

Facilitate collaboration between industry, community and government
Establish or support ongoing spaces events for industry, community and government to come together and work on solving civic issues i.e. building civic technology, making budget data more accessible or testing viability of new technologies or programs in government. Something like this: http://www.meetup.com/Civic-Lab-Melbourne/events/228102061/
Mechanisms to monitor and track progress: no. of gov, community and private sector participation, no. issues worked on, no. of technology developed, no. of people learning new skills i.e. visualising data, no. challenges government puts forward to the community
What organisations would be best placed to implement the idea: Code for Australia has been running a program to do this exact thing in Melbourne. A similar space in other capital cities could be great.
Proposed by: Alvaro Maz, Code for Australia//
  • Comment: Could be implemented in cooperation with civic societies or universities - Craig Thomler
  • Comment: Open Data Institute in the UK has run a highly successful challenge series, whereby social/economic/environmental challenges are solved. Building on Code for Australia's idea, this is something that could be achieved locally in Australia. - Maree, Open Data Institute Queensland

Establish a public engagement and collaborative approach to the development, implementation and monitoring of all major public policies.
Proposed by: Michael Wynne

Establish an education program to support and upskill citizens to better engage with government.
Proposed by: Michael Wynne

Establish a comprehensive review of the FOI Act, as proposed by the 2013 Hawke Review (recommendation 1) https://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Documents/FOI%20report.pdf
Proposed by: James McKay, Peter Timmins

Establish a formal mechanism such as a high level inter agency or cross jurisdictional group to ensure co-ordinated consideration of OGP, SDG and related strategic policy challenges across the Australian Government.
Proposed by: Peter Timmins, Greg Thompson (TIA)

The establishment of a multi-stakeholder OGP Australia oversight group, comprising government, civil society and the private sector to ensure ongoing commitment to fulfilling OGP obligations and to guide the ongoing OGP process, implementation, monitoring and reporting.
Proposed by: Greg Thompson (TIA), Peter Timmins, Amelia Loye

Sign the Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development
http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/attachments/OGP_declaration.pdf
Proposed by: Peter Timmins

Improve natural resources data publishing and reporting.
Proposed by: Alan Wolfe

Implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Australia.
Proposed by: Greg Thompson (TIA)

Establish a publicly available register of the beneficial ownership of companies.
Proposed by: Greg Thompson (TIA)

Greater transparency in public procurement:
  • Governments should publish in a timely manner the selection criteria and the method of award of any contract before the procurement process commences;
  • Governments should collect and disclose the identity and beneficial ownership of all bidders;
  • Full details of awarded contracts should be disclosed and the details of completion of the contract should be published in a timely manner with any alterations to the terms of the original contract also disclosed;
  • Independent monitoring of all stages of the procurement process with a robust, transparent and effective appeals process should be accessible;
  • Information on public procurement should be available in open data format – non-proprietary, searchable, sortable, platform-independent and machine-readable.
Proposed by: Greg Thompson (TIA)
  • Note: This needs more detail to be an actionable item. Have asked for more specific details from the proposer.(note updated 23/12 - TB)

The Australian Government should endorse the principles of open contracting. In doing so Australia will build on the existing foundation of transparency in procurement and contracting and, in consultation with civil society organisations and other stakeholders, Australia should look at ways to enhance the scope, breadth and usability of published contractual data."

And as a complimentary measure, the Australian government will promote the principles of transparency and accountability in all government-funded construction projects in the domestic and international arenas, including, in the period up until 2018, working with others in government (eg Infrastructure Australia and in state counterparts) and civil society to identify suitable projects for the application of the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) in Australia, and using its bilateral and multilateral relationships to encourage the establishment of at least four new national CoST programmes in countries where DFAT is working
'
Another commitment relates to aid transparency
The Australian Government will continue to play a role in transforming the transparency of global development assistance by publishing information on official development assistance (ODA) in line with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard, so that Australian assistance can be tracked through the delivery chain.

Additional specific proposals by
Greg Thompson (TIA) 22.03.16

Reinstate the OAIC by withdrawing legislation to abolish the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, re-instating funding for the OAIC to fulfil its mandate in relation to freedom of information, privacy, and information policy, and ensuring the prompt appointment of a new Australian Information Commissioner with full powers.
Proposed by: Greg Thompson (TIA), James Mackay

Move the OAIC function into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Proposed by: Greg Thompson (TIA)

Establish a review of the operation of the OAIC to commence at the start of 2017 and to cover the period from its creation in 2010 to the end of 2016.
Proposed by Tim Smith (ART), James Mackay

Encourage government agencies to follow Privacy Principle 12. In particular 12.4(b).
"give access to the information in the manner requested by the individual, if it is reasonable and practicable to do so".
Proposed by Kevin Cox

At present government agencies ask people for information that the agencies then check. Instead allow people to confirm information about themselves before passing it on to agencies.
Proposed by Kevin Cox

Endorse the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness.
Proposed by Henare Degan, OpenAustralia Foundation

Develop a register of all public research undertaken by federal agencies
Develop a central register of all public research undertaken, or to be undertaken, by federal agencies that provides details of the scope and links to publicly reported outcomes. Over time could be linked to the raw data for reuse by other agencies/external entities per other open data and internally could become a mechanism for agencies to find existing research relevant to policy processes and to collaborate on research projects where the similar data collection could serve the goals of different agencies. Potential to expand to states & local gov in longer-term as a central public research repository and matching system.
Proposed by Craig Thomler

Improve transparency around political donations
To improve transparency around political donations, pass legislation that establishes a single independent entity that administers all political donations; managing collection, distribution to the nominated party or individual candidate and public reporting. This should be achieved through a digital system that collects, distributes and reports seamlessly - making the details of the legal entities making the donation public along with the donation amounts at the time the donation is made, and detailing any subsequent actions (such as where a party or candidate rejects the donation due to conflicts of interest, links to crime or other reasons). Political parties should be legally forbidden from receiving donations from outside this mechanism, and individuals, groups and organisations should be forbidden from offering donations outside this mechanism. The system should be audited annually and be paid for by taking a small percentage of donations made (2-3%). The system should have front-end tools for individuals, political parties and organisations to embed donation taking systems into their own sites, so that from a donater's perspective it functions identically to making a donation directly to a political party or organisation.
This approach would allow real-time reporting of total donations by candidate, party and overall - where they are coming from and build a history of where specific donors have made donations to the same party and candidates.
Unless there is a compelling reason to support anonymous donations, all donations of any amount should be tracked through this system, with randomised verification and checking methods to minimise the ability of donors to conceal the entity making the donation.
In the future it would be possible to extend this system to state and local elections as a central system for managing and reporting all political donations across Australia, reducing the capacity of organisations and wealthy individuals to inappropriately influence MPs or parties and creating true transparency across the entire system. If possible the system should be designed as an open source solution and the code made available for scrutiny.
Proposed by Craig Thomler

Implement a whole-of-government problem solving platform
Improve the democratisation of public problem solving and government's capability to engage citizens and organisations in addressing social and governance channges by implementing a whole-of-government challenge platform with agency training and support methods in order to support government agencies to put out both 'grand challenges' for the design/conceptualisation of solutions to large problems (ie the design of Canberra and the Opera House) and for small challenges (ie the design of tools and messages to promote healthy eating by children). This could be strongly based on the US model (www.challenge.gov).
Proposed by Craig Thomler

Introduce citizen-drafted legislation
In support of more direct democracy and broadening the role of citizens in governance outside of the electoral cycle, introduce a capability for citizens to introduce legislation into parliament for debate and a vote, borrowing from the models introduced successfully by Estonia and Sweden. This would involve a series of gates that a piece of prospective legislation would have to meet before being submitted to parliament, including receiving initial support (X supporters online), being framed as legislation (through the support of a volunteer/part-funded legal capability), being modelled (with the support of the affected portfolio agencies) and then receiving a level of community support that indicates a significant desire for the legislation (X supporters online). When it goes to parliament for debate and voting, the votes for, against and abstentions should all be captured and reported with the legislation for transparency reasons.
Proposed by Craig Thomler

Commit to a six or eight week public exposure period for laws before voting in parliament
Commit to a six or eight week public exposure period for all laws before they are voted on by parliament, with a capability for individuals and groups to propose amendments and identify issues with potential laws before they are put into practice. Ensure that the exposure occurs in a public manner, potentially with the capability for individuals and organisations to register for alerts by topic for laws that impact on their lives and activities. Create a review and response mechanism that ensures that all considerations raised are addressed publicly in plain english such that the rationale behind the purpose and specific wording of each law are clear to the people it is to be enforced on.
Currently the exposure period is quite short and is not well promoted, thus often laws are passed with little scrutiny and with significant drafting flaws, which are only identified in later implementation and must be amended over time. The process above would significantly reduce the error rate in legislation and add an extra consultation step for addressing specific aspects of laws that have not been fully considered in relation to the citizens and organisations affected.
Proposed by Craig Thomler

Develop whole of government consultation capabilities that focus on evidence-based policy development
To mitigate the current state where agencies all consult citizens to different degrees and via widely different methods, develop whole of government guidance and consultation capabilities that focuses on evidence-based policy development over Ministerial fiat. Currently some agencies employ advanced online consultation tools and/or wide-reaching community engagement, while others employ very basic and opaque techniques, often with consultation methods selected and funded on a project by project basis with wildly different approaches and techniques for engagement even when similar topics are being considered. A central capability with clear and public guidance on how and when agencies must engage the public and stakeholders would remove a great deal of the ability for departments or Ministers to rule by fiat, with limited or 'hidden' consultation (such as burying a white paper deep in a website, or holding consultation events with a specific limited set of stakeholders unknownst to the broader community affected by policy changes). This should include a central register of all government public consultations, including mechanisms for people and organisations to register for alerts for consultations touching on their areas of interest.
This approach would help normalise the consultation process for citizens, who would be able to easily discover consultations on topics of interest to them from different agencies through a central location, would be able to respond to consultations in a more standardised and user-friendly way, and would provide support for a broader range of consultation approaches for smaller agencies that otherwise cannot afford to employ techniques which may be more effective than those they currently use.
The likely end solution would integrate technologies from different consultation providers, as well as custom functionality (which may be paid for by a group of agencies to share costs) as well as consultation support and training services to ensure that consultations are designed and executed to deliver effective outcomes. Note that I have witnessed a number of 'wasted' consultations where the process, response mechanism, or framing approach resulted in limited usable responses - a waste of public money and potentially politically dangerous where the government receives an inaccurate picture of community views - addressing this area in the manner outlined would significantly reduce this waste and likely reduce the overall cost of consultation across the entire government.
Proposed by Craig Thomler

Establish a federal ICAC
To build greater confidence and legitimacy in the parliament and ensure that issues of potentially corrupt behaviour are addressed via an independent mechanism, rather than directly by parliamentary peers or departments under the instruction of a federal minister, establish a federal equivalent Ro the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption empowered to investigate potentially corrupt behaviour by politicians, their advisors and senior public servants.
This step would raise the transparency and build trust in government and help counter Australia's slide on international anti-corruption measures. The specific scope of investigation powers should be determined through the involvement of a citizen's panel and be a transparent process such that Australian citizens can have confidence that the mechanism will meet its goals of providing an independent review of potentially corrupt or inappropriate conduct that is currently self-investigated by parliament and agencies.
Given that Australia's Special Minister of State, who is currently responsible for investigating such matters, recently stepped down due to a police investigation into his own conduct, and recent public concern and scrutiny over conduct by other parliamentarians, the creation of this mechanism would go a long way towards restoring confidence in the Australian parliament and support the OGP' anti-corruption goals.
Craig Thomler

Create a review and engagement mechanism for civil society interaction with Government
To foster effective engagement between government and non-government entities, thereby supporting more inclusive and open governance, create a formal review and engagement mechanism for interaction with the government by civil societies to aid in future OGP planning cycles and other policy formulation and decision-making processes.
Craig Thomler

Collaboration between government and community groups
Suggestion to meet - *Access to Information, *Open Data and *Openness in Natural Resources areas
NEED: Extending access and use of existing Australian best practice information by Government institutions and participating community groups
BACKGROUND: I have observed over many years the National Parks and Wildlife Services and aboriginal groups trying to work towards an ongoing collaboration. What I don't understand is why the Service staff do not check for current successful ‘collaboration’ programs (or part thereof) in their own Service to share with the people involved in the project. An example of a successful program is that of Mungo National Park.
STRATEGY AND MEASUREMENT: To expand use of valuable information by Government and Community groups.
A five step process can begin
  • Gather and make best practice collaboration program reports easily findable (a one stop shop);
  • Notifying (regularly - twice a year) all regions that this 'one stop shop' is available, and that
  • A Service person or persons are required to log in to this 'shop' each month, search for information associated with their annual projects, and distribute the results (via email with links or as paper copies for people without email) to people responsible for project delivery and all members of the project team; including the Community groups.
  • All project leaders must personally load their final reports to the ‘shop’.
  • These logins are recorded and reported.
There may be a better way - but I haven't witnessed use of current successful processes in the Service and local aboriginal group discussions.
Dr Janice Withnall (posted on their behalf)

Amend the Commonwealth FOI Act to make the section 47 exemption (trade secrets or commercially valuable information) subject to the public interest test, at least where s 47(3) applies (i.e. government-held trade secrets or commercially valuable information).
Suggested by Michael Cordover

Baseline the maturity of the open data publishing practice of all Australian Government Departments and Agencies using a free online tool such as the Open Data Institute's Open Data Pathway. This is a great way to benchmark the 'now', guide each Department in setting targets (the 'where') and develop a practical action plan (the 'how'). It also results in more meaningful measurement of progress as we move forward.
Proposed by: Maree, Open Data Institute Queensland

Improve access to national data on mining and resource exploration and production projects for citizens
The Australian Government could ensure all national, state and territories datasets related to mining and production and associated infrastructure are published in a format easily accessed and understood by citizens. This open dataset will establish transparency and drive public participation in the development and management of Australia’s natural resources.
The Australian Government is best placed to coordinate and publish national data related to mining and resource production applications and projects and their status.
To deliver this the Government will need to support collaboration between all agencies, states and territories and create a way to enable them to effectively share and publish data in a consistent national structure. This data should be updated daily or weekly, shareable, and be open in allowing companies and citizens to build on and reuse the data.
Proposed by Mel Flanagan

Create community-focused content explaining mining, resources and energy project processes
The Australian Government could provide a single national source of easily understood community-focused information about our natural resources, mining and production processes, and the rights of citizens and industry. This will foster more open and better informed discussion between citizens, industry and agencies about management of Australia’s natural resources.
With more state government decisions on resource projects becoming a part of the national conversation, the Australian Government has the opportunity to create the foundation for an informed discussion by providing national content, including relevant details for each state and territory.
Educational content created for citizens will transparently explain the different natural resources in Australia, their uses and values, and the process and impacts of mining/extraction. The participation and cooperation of each state and territory in providing information about relevant local rules and legislation, will ensure openness is delivered nationally. Content will be published on a national website and licensed under creative commons to encourage redistribution and reuse.
Proposed by Mel Flanagan

Wisdom Pledge
Firstly, the first step is to make a wisdom pledge which is a commitment to consider Zero Marginal Cost technologies to pursue Society Growth ( wisdom.to/pledge ) . Secondly, the Australian Government could consider a Network Democracy platform which restores the balance with real-time, comprehensive citizen participation across government, democracy and industry" ( wisdom.to/networkdemocracy ). Network Democracy could provide transparent participation and collaboration across every government department and agency. Thirdly, Health Wisdom could provide nationwide collaboration between doctors, patients, nurses and other caregivers ( wisdom.to/health ). This could evolve in the Australia Wisdom Network which crowd creates Network Society ( wisdom.to/australia ).
Proposed by Marcus Cake

The commitments suggested on this page are being migrated and grouped into theme-specific pages. Please add any further commitments (as comments) to the most appropriate theme page

, and participate in the discussion there.