08 October 2012

Open Government Standards release draft principles for comment

Open Government Standards (OGS) has released draft principles on transparency, participation and accountability for public comment.

OGS is a civil society initiative coordinated by Access Info Europe. Its goal is to develop a set of standards, in consultation with a wide range of civil society organisations, on what open government is and to subsequently use those standards as indicators to measure the open government action plan of participating states in the Open Government Partnership as well as other openness initiatives.

The OGS draft principles are founded on three basic tenants:
• Transparency - "That information about the activities of public bodies is created and is available to the public, with limited exceptions, in a timely manner and in open data formats without limits on reuse. This includes the disclosure of information in response to requests from the public and proactively at the initiative of public bodies. In addition that key information about private bodies is available either directly or via public bodies."

• Participation - "That members of the public can engage directly in the consideration of policy options and in government decision making, and contribute ideas and evidence that lead to policies, laws, and decisions which best serve the society and broad democratic interests. That governments actively seek to mobilize citizens to engage in public debate, and that mechanisms exist which permit the public to participate at their own initiative."

• Accountability - "That there are rules, regulations and mechanisms in place that govern the behavior of elected and public officials in their exercise of public power and the spending of public funds. These norms should include requirements that decisions are fully reasoned and justified with full information made available to the public. That there is protection for whistleblowers and mechanisms which react to disclosures of wrongdoing."

Comments and suggestions on the draft principles should be sent to OGS by 16 November 2012.

Download the draft principles.