All UK political parties must commit to open government

The UK Open Government Network is a group of organisations and individuals committed to making government work better for people. We call on all political parties to put the principles of open government at the heart of their plans for government.

Open government is the simple but powerful idea that governments and institutions work better for citizens when they are transparent, engaging and accountable. Open government is critical to the well-being, prosperity and empowerment of citizens in the UK and around the world. It helps to ensure that those who take decisions that affect people’s lives are properly accountable and responsive to the public – supporting the effective, equitable and sustainable use of resources, delivery of public services and exercise of authority.

With many institutions having lost public trust, and citizens feeling disempowered and disengaged from the political system, it is vital that the principles of open government are adopted and promoted by all political parties and put into action by the all parties in government.

The Open Government Partnership provides a platform for reformers inside and outside governments around the world to develop reforms that “promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance”. Since its foundation in September 2011, over 2,000 commitments have been made by 65 participating countries, covering a third of the world’s population. Through an open and collaborative policy process, our network supported engagement and outreach on setting the commitments in the UK’s latest open government National Action Plan, and have supported the UK’s leading role in the OGP.

We are committed to collaborating with and challenging governments in the UK to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms through the UK’s membership of the Open Government Partnership. We call on all political parties to:

  1. State their commitment to the open government principles of transparency, participation and accountability in your party manifesto, and outline the open government reforms that you will introduce.
  2. Commit to working to further the impact of Open Government Partnership domestically and internationally.
  3. Commit to implementing, with the UK Open Government Network, an open and collaborative process for developing the UK’s third Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.

Open government requires a wide range of reforms and the collaboration of government, civil society and business to make a reality. We invite all political parties to work with us towards building more transparent, engaging and accountable governments in the UK.

Yours sincerely,

  1. Alexandra Runswick, Unlock Democracy
  2. Andy Williamson, Democratise
  3. Angus Hardie, Scottish Community Alliance
  4. Anne Thurston, International Records Management Trust
  5. Anthony Zacharzewski, The Democratic Society
  6. Aongus O’Keeffe, Inspiring Impact Northern Ireland
  7. Brent Norris, Green Collar Technologies
  8. Catarina Tully, FromOverHere
  9. Cathy James, Public Concern at Work
  10. Cedric Knight. GreenNet
  11. Chris Shaw, University of Oxford
  12. Chris Taggart, OpenCorporates
  13. Chris Yiu, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  14. Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership
  15. David Banisar, ARTICLE 19
  16. David McBurney
  17. David Mcnerlin
  18. Diane Sheard, The ONE Campaign
  19. Fiona Garven, Scottish Community Development Centre
  20. Fiona Savage, Collaborative Change Practitioner
  21. Gavin Hayman, Global Witness
  22. Graham Smith, University of Westminster
  23. James Perry, Panahpur
  24. Janet Kells
  25. Jeni Tennison, Open Data Institute
  26. Jennifer Tankard, Community Investment Coalition
  27. Jessica Crowe, Centre for Public Scrutiny
  28. Jim Killock. Open Rights Group
  29. John Chambers, The Archives and Records Association
  30. John Hawkins, Construction Sector Transparency Initiative
  31. John Lotherington
  32. John Shaddock
  33. Jonathan Breckon, Alliance for Useful Evidence
  34. Jonathan Gray, Open Knowledge
  35. Karl Wilding, NCVO
  36. Kev Kirkland, Data Unity
  37. Kris Nixon
  38. Laura Taylor, Christian Aid
  39. Linda Cox, Shrewsbury Dial-a-Ride
  40. Linnea Mills
  41. Lucas Amin, Request Initiative
  42. Malcolm Rigg
  43. Malou Schueller, Progressio (CIIR)
  44. Mariam Cook, PositionDial
  45. Mary Field, Youthnet
  46. Miles Litvinoff, Publish What You Pay UK
  47. Nick Perks, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  48. Nim Njuguna, Kenya Diaspora Bureau (UK)
  49. Oliver Escobar, Citizen Participation Network
  50. Owen Boswarva
  51. Paul Anders
  52. Paul Bumstead
  53. Paul Lenz, mySociety
  54. Prof. John Barry, Queens University Belfast
  55. Rachel Davies, Bond Anti-Corruption Group
  56. Rachel Oldroyd, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  57. Richard Jackson, Voluntary Action Leeds
  58. Richard Murphy, Tax Research UK
  59. Robert Barrington, Transparency International UK
  60. Rupert Simons, Publish What You Fund
  61. Simon Blake, Compact Voice
  62. Simon Burall, Involve
  63. Simon Hanson
  64. Simon Phipps, Meshed Insights
  65. Stephen Elstub, University of the West of Scotland
  66. Tamasin Cave, Spinwatch
  67. Thomas Pogge, Academics Stand Against Poverty Global
  68. Tim Davies, Practical Participation
  69. Tim Hughes, UK Open Government Civil Society Network coordinator
  70. Toby Blume
  71. Wendy Faulkner, Talking Tweed
  72. Winnie McColl

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