Written answers

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Open Government Partnership

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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40. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position in respect of implementing 18 commitments from the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2016-2018; his plans to establish and or develop open Government partnerships; and if he will establish a public consultation in respect of open Government partnerships. [22513/21]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Ireland became a full member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in July 2014 when the Government adopted Ireland’s first National Action Plan 2014-2016 (developed in tandem with civil society). To date 79 countries have signed the OGP declaration and participate in its processes to advance the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability, and stakeholder participation.  

The OGP's processes are centred on the agreement of biennial National Action Plans with Civil Society.  The OGP’s ‘Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)’ hires independent experts (from academia within the relevant country) to undertake research and author progress reports in accordance with IRM assessment methodology.  These annual progress reports monitor the implementation of each country’s OGP action plan and the quality of its engagement with Civil Society.   

The IRM End-of-Term Report on the implementation of Ireland's 2016-2018 National Action Plan assessed that of the Plan’s 18 Commitments, 13 were completed or substantially completed, 2 of which were “Starred” (i.e. meaning that they were 'measurable, clearly relevant to the OGP's values, of transformative potential impact and substantially or completely implemented')>  These were:

- Commitment 13: Develop a Code of Practice for the Governance of Charities

- Commitment 14: Strengthen Anti-Corruption Measures, i.e.: the Public Sector Standards Bill, the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill and Judicial Council Legislation.

The current Programme for Government includes a commitment to “continue and re-invigorate participation by the public sector in the Open Government Partnership”.  I expect that a Memorandum seeking formal approval to commence a process aimed at developing a third National Plan will be finalised and submitted to Government shortly.  In addition, some preparatory work aimed at developing and agreeing a process through which our next National Plan will be developed with civil society is at an advanced stage. 

The deadline for submitting a National Action Plan within the current cycle (2020-2022) is 31st December 2021.

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