The German federal government adopted its first Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (NAP) today. With the NAP, the federal government takes important steps to strengthen citizen participation. The 15 commitments in the NAP will provide new ways to increase transparency, open innovation and enhance the effectiveness of governments and administrations.
The Working Group Open Government Partnership, an open group of civil society organizations, scientific representatives and individual citizens, welcomes the fact that several of our submitted suggestions are also reflected in the NAP. During this first two year NAP cycle the focus lies on issues such as open data, transparency standards for development cooperation and the electronic application for parental benefits. Topics like open source software, open health policy or stronger financial transparency (including open contracting) do not play a major role in the first German NAP. Actions that would require changes to existing laws were neglected in the NAP, this will be left to the future government after the upcoming federal elections.
The concept of open governance within the framework of the Open Government Partnership is a shared task of all stakeholders, and benefits from a trustful and continuous exchange between government and citizens. The Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) manages this process for the entire federal government. In preparation of the first NAP, the ministry fostered the dialogue with the civil society and received numerous suggestions, which the entire federal government then assessed internally. The Working Group OGP Germany is pleased to continue the dialogue with the government in the upcoming two years and to constructively accompany the implementation of this for the NAP.
The Federal Republic of Germany has been participating in the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) since December 2016. More than 75 national, and 15 subnational governments have already agreed upon improving global governance through the inclusion of civil society organizations. At the heart of OGP lie NAPs, which are developed together with the civil society. The next NAP is planned for 2019 and shall also involve the regional and local authorities. We feel that the required public consultation for this must begin earlier.
Since 2011, the Working Group OGP Germany has been actively advocating the advancement of Open Government in Germany. It supports the government and enriches this process with civil society positions, ensuring that Open Government can be effectively and sustainably established in the federal, regional and local governments.