Scotland OGP ActionPlan 2018: Difference between revisions

From Open Government Pioneer Project
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'''Why should people get involved and care?'''
 
'''Why should people get involved and care?'''
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== 2016/17 input (Previous action plan) ==
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=== <u>'''Scottish Commitments for the UK National Action Plan (''January 2016''''')</u> ===
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<u>'''Theme 1: Access to Information'''</u>
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'''Challenge''': Ensuring that access to information is based on the principle of transparency and openness and that FOI laws are an integral part of the wider approach.  .
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'''Context:'''
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As a central part of Open Government, it is important that members of the public and organisations can access the information they need from Scottish public bodies in a form that they can use.  This is so that people can pursue interests, participate in government decision making and ensure the public sector is held to account for its policies and spending.  This recognises that the “Right to Know” is a cornerstone of democratic engagement and helping governments to improve continuously.  This requires a system that obligates Scottish public authorities to both respond to information requests within set timescales and to publish information proactively where there is a public interest.  The Scottish Government’s Open Data Strategy complements the right to information under FOI and aims to ensure anonymised data generated by public bodies is made available through easily accessible channels.
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'''Actions''':
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# We will develop a framework to proactively publish government research timeously; to set out the evidence and research used in policy development by Scottish Government.
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# We will adopt a new Scottish Government website from 2016, which will make it easier for people to locate the information they are looking for, including information which has been proactively published.
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# We will actively seek ways to promote openness through access to information, using the statutory powers available to us. Specifically, we will:
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#* ensure effective implementation of our current commitment to bring organisations who own or manage private prisons, secure children’s accommodation, grant-aided schools, independent special schools, and Scottish Health Innovations Limited within the scope of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA);
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#* consult in 2016 on options for extending access to information held by registered social landlords;
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#* ensure that any new legislation actively considers creating access to information provisions, or bringing new bodies within the scope of FOISA; and
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#* work with Civil Society and the Scottish Information Commissioner to identify organisations which deliver ‘functions of a public nature’ and whether all or part of their work should be subject to FOISA or other transparency initiatives.
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# During the next Parliament, we will bring forward an order under FOISA to remove some of the statutory legislative barriers to release of information. While in some cases there are legitimate reasons for legislation to prohibit the release of certain types of information (such as to protect national security), there are a few, mainly older pieces of legislation where the restrictions now seem to be outdated and not consistent with our commitment to open government.
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'''Commitment''': Protect FOI rights, improve proactive publication and maximise information.
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<u>'''Theme 2: Anti- Corruption (Transparency as Regulation)'''</u>
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'''Challenge''': Maintain trust, integrity & accountability in government
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'''Context'''
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Corruption harms societies, undermines economic development and threatens democracy (''UK anti-corruption plan, December 2014'').  Corruption is the abuse of power for personal or other benefit; involving dishonest or fraudulent activity, often involving bribery. It is insidious and reduces public confidence in institutions and organisations. Acting publicly and openly against corruption will reduce the potential for corruption and reinstate public confidence in organisations, particularly those funded by the public purse. 
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'''Actions''':
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#  To improve engagement with public sector organisations regarding counter-fraud and anti- corruption activities through active awareness-raising, training, self-assessment and / or audit. To ensure that all bodies make a clear commitment to ethical standards in public life and develop a fraud plan in order to enhance their approach to countering fraud.
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'''Commitment''': For Scotland to be a leader in identifying and preventing corruption and the risk of  fraud and corruption in the public sector
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<u>'''Theme 3: Civic Participation (Citizen Engagement & Participatory Democracy)'''</u>
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'''Challenge''': To ensure that our government, working with civil society, creates the conditions, systems, processes and mechanisms for people to be involved in and to influence the decisions that affect their lives. Scottish Ministers and Scottish civil society want to see a step change in society and in how the Scottish Government does its work.  There are 3 clear priorities of government:  prosperity, tackling inequalities and protecting and reforming public services.  For all of this work there is an expectation of increased involvement of citizens and a requirement for us to work with and pass power to people and communities, to deliver a fairer and a more prosperous society.
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'''Context'''
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Open government requires openness to citizen participation and engagement in policy making and governance, including basic protections for civil liberties and human rights.  In Scotland we recognise that the benefits of engagement can include: better outcomes for individuals, families and communities; a more robust and sustainable economy; better service delivery; more engaged and empowered citizens; leading to greater trust and understanding of government.  This process of recognising  and building on the strengths of people is the basis of our drive to reform public service, with people, rather than to them and is described as the Scottish Approach.
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'''Actions''':
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# Implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, which provides a legal framework to encourage participation and empowerment across a range of topics including: community planning; an expanded community right to buy; a new right for community bodies to request transfer of public sector land and buildings; public participation in decision making; and participation requests which enable community bodies to put forward ideas to improve outcomes.
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# A proof of concept and learning exercise  to assess whether it is possible to apply participative approaches to national decisions on Scotland’s national budget.  This will  include consideration of the use of an open data approach to the national budget information to complement participatory budgeting at local and national levels.
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# To review, refresh and promote the National Standards of Community Engagement
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# To develop  a systematic approach to supporting children’s rights in Scotland as defined in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
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# Continue development of our approach to consultation, deploying an array of digital and other techniques to broaden our participation in consultation, make participation in consultations accessible and inviting, demonstrating clearly what the consultation has produced and how this has influenced the policy outcome. In developing this work, we will regularly draw feedback from citizens, e.g. through consultation hack events, and learn from       what we hear to develop our approach further.
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# To embed citizen participation, the Scottish approach we will develop a system and a number of clear places or projects to test out a range of approaches to policy development and service delivery with people.  This will include participation, collaboration and co-production; to build on the strengths of people and communities, recognising the contribution that people make.  An early example of this is the National Conversation on a                 Fairer Scotland which has tested out a high profile deliberative approach with a wide range of citizens, on the theme of tackling inequality in Scotland. The actions to emerge from Fairer Scotland will continue to be tested using a range of innovative techniques for involving citizens. In partners so we can pay careful attention to what we learn, building this in to developments as we proceed. 
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# The Scottish Cabinet will meet in towns and cities outside Edinburgh at least once every two months. As part of this programme open public discussions will be held in community venues where members of the public are able to attend to question the Scottish Government on their policies and to raise local and national concerns. We will ensure Scottish ministers do more online including question and answers with the public, and                 participate in online deliberative conversations. We will also invest in digital participation programmes to ensure more people can participate in this.
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'''Commitment''': Encourage innovative forms of participation, engagement and collaboration
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<u>'''Theme 4: Open Data'''</u>
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'''Challenge''': The challenge in Scotland is to escalate the pace and scale of openly accessible data, building on current good practice, open standards and ensuring  the on-going engagement of a widening community of data users to identify data for priority release.
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'''Context'''
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Open data is the raw material of open knowledge.  Accessible, usable and shared data creates knowledge and innovative processes.  By making data that the public sector holds open it enables communities and individuals to hold government to account, understand more about public services, gain insight into their own community and contribute to the future design and delivery of public services.   Publishing public  sector data in a reusable form empowers others to use the data for new and exciting purposes (data innovation), to the benefit of the economy and society, while taking full account of the importance of cyber security and privacy.
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'''Actions''':
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# Require all public sector organisations to develop and implement their own Open Data publication plans. (Evidencing a baseline 3* format by 2017) and support citizens to re-use                                        and re-        interpret this data to support their communities
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# To launch an open data platform to publish the data behind Scottish Official Statistics so that it is discoverable, accessible and reusable.
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# We will make the use of surveillance in Scotland more open by bringing together relevant information (legislation, Codes of Practice, reports on oversight / use of powers, information about safeguards) in a single, publicly-accessible portal.           
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# Public bodies will publish contract award information on Public Contracts Scotland.
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# We will develop international business interoperability standard for public procurement in Scotland.
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# Pilot an open data approach to budget information to complement participatory budgeting  at local and national levels. (Action yet to be agreed)
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# We will test out approaches to develop greater ownership by citizens over their own data. This will include pilots where citizens get to decide with whom they share their data.
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# We will develop the Health and Social Care Data Integration and Intelligence Platform with and to include services provided by the third and Independent sectors along with other Information to support planning of care with and for local populations; and to work with data-controllers to ensure that all of the (non-personal) outputs for all Partnerships are made generally available, on a labelled basis, In a discoverable, accessible and reusable format.
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'''Commitment''': To open up more publicly held data to many more citizens in a form they can use to innovate and empower themselves and their communities.
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<u>'''Theme 5: Public Accountability (Government Accountability to the Public)'''</u>
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'''Challenge''': Ensure Government is more accountable to citizens
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'''Context:'''  On a national and international level, Scottish Government tracks and proactively publishes the Nation’s progress against a broad sweep of performance indicators through Scotland Performs. The data sets that support that system will also enable the development of a framework to track progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.  
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There is also a need to take a balanced approach to improving the accountability of our vital institutions, such as the justice system and courts as well as for outsourced services.  
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A modern political system needs people and organisations from outside government and parliament to take the time to speak to and inform people about public policy. Some people and organisations may be paid as professionals to do so on behalf of others, representing either collective or individual interests. It is important for our democracy that this critical function is open and transparent and is protected from suspicion or misuse.
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'''Actions''':
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# The development of a robust framework which enables Scotland’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals to be driven and measured meaningfully.
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# To update and improve the national indicator set in the National Performance Framework we will produce a refreshed indicator set which takes account of improved data availability and addresses the key gap areas by Spring 2016.
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# We will review and improve reporting on Scotland’s human rights treaty obligations.
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# We will develop Open Contracting Strategy, to ensure that the public can identify who is delivering government contracts including contract management and performance reporting mechanisms
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# To introduce modern civil and criminal case management systems into Scottish courts, moving away from paper-based processes, minimising duplicate data and allow SCTS to transact business electronically with court users.
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# Publish an annual report setting out how the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service carries out its functions. The report is made available to the Scottish Parliament.
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# Bring forward and  implement legislation in the Scottish Parliament to establish a publicly available register of those who lobby MSPs and Ministers to make public external influence on government and in Scotland, keeping bureaucracy to the minimum required to ensure public trust without preventing engagement in our democracy.
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'''Commitment''': '''For Scotland to be a leader in safeguarding trust in our democratic processes and institutions'''
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<u>'''Theme 6: Technology & Innovation'''</u>
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'''Challenge''': To harness technology to build the capacity of citizens to participate more directly in the decisions that affect their lives.
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'''Context'''
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Technology is fast becoming an essential tool to participate fully in our society and democratic processes, but the pace of change leaves far too many people behind. If we want more people to be empowered to participate in Scottish society, then we will need to invest in the capacity of more of our citizens to participate through technology in the decisions that affect them.
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'''Actions''':
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# As people have improved access to information, the question of what to do with it becomes important. We will seek to engage citizens in the co-production of new digital and non-digital ‘information use’ services , training and tools .
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# Open government rests heavily on digital tools and services – yet for many use of digital tools is problematic or impossible. We will address this through developing standards for Digital Input, Direct Digital and Enhanced Digital to ensure all citizens can participate in digital open government platforms and channels
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'''Commitment''': Explore & develop new ways to harness technology to improve our democracy
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=== '''<u>Scottish Civil Society Network workshop meeting (April 2016)</u>''' ===
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(A list of attendees can be found at the end of these notes)
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Lucy McTernan (Deputy Chief Executive SCVO), Tim Hughes (UK Open Government Civil Society Network Co-ordinator from Involve) and Doreen Grove (Scottish Government) opened the workshop and provided an overview of the Open Government Partnership, Scotland’s involvement to date, the role of the Civil Society Network and the implications and opportunities of Scotland having now been selected as a sub-national pilot site as background to the discussions.
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More background and information on all of these points can be found at:
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<nowiki>http://www.opengovernment.org.uk/</nowiki>
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<nowiki>http://forum.opengovernment.org.uk/groups/opengovscot</nowiki>
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'''Discussions on the draft Scottish Commitments:'''
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In table groups participants looked at the commitments included in the draft '''Scottish Commitments for the UK National Action Plan''' with each group focusing on 2 themes.
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1)      Access to Information with Open Data
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2)      Civic Participation with Technology and Innovation
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3)      Anti-Corruption with Public Accountability
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The purpose of these discussions was to review the existing commitments and identify any areas of concern (before they go to government for signoff post-election) and/or opportunities for strengthening or extending these commitments in the future. Key points from each group were then fed back to the room for wider comment and discussion.
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'''Theme 1''': Access to Information
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Key points raised:
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·        That we need to step up our ambitions through a change to the wording of the Access to Information commitment. This should put more stress on the need to push this forward, not just protect what is already there. The new suggested wording is therefore: "Drive proactive publication, protect and enhance proactive publication in order to maximise information.”
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·        There needs to be more emphasis in this and the open data sections on digital inclusion and efforts to improve digital literacy so that accessible information is useable
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-    There is a duty to publish and respond. This should be enforced/regulated so that information is available and accessible.
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-    But people need to know how to access it. Support is needed for how to make data available as well as why to make it available.
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-    There are issues with data and IT literacy. How can people interpret the existing data?
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Other points raised during the table discussions:
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o  Who benefits from data being available and accessible?
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o  Citizens need to better understand what data is available, why it's there, how it can be used, why that is significant, why it is powerful.
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'''Theme 2''': Anti- Corruption (Transparency as Regulation)
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Key points raised:
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·        There is a need to widen the way corruption is presented in the context to include a focus on systems, behaviours and practices that, while not necessarily illegal, undermine the integrity of public governance.
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-         Needs to encompass the types of practices that, like a ‘computer virus’, gets into the system and creates outcomes that are not beneficial – causing decay and potentially leading to system breakdown.
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Other points raised during the table discussions:
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o  A need to look further at proceeds of crime in compliment to the cashback for communities programme to look at widening social benefits
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o  The current PFI scandal has highlighted the need for greater transparency re beneficiaries and accountability and how commercial confidentiality can be used to restrict information. There should be a way of demanding that companies ‘open their books’
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o  Should there be a reference here to the Scottish government’s new tax and social security powers?
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'''Theme 3''': Civic Participation (Citizen Engagement & Participatory Democracy)
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Key points raised:
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·        Action 6 – regarding the implementation of the Community Empowerment Act. The group felt there was a need to reflect not just the implementation of the Act but also the ambition and impact of the Act in the action.
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-         There was also a question of whether it should be included as an action if as it was already happening. What did having it here add?
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-         There was a suggestion to widen the wording of the action to include scrutiny of the impact and outcomes from the act
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·        Actions 10 and 11 – regarding widening the approach and range of tools used for support consultation and engagement and embedding this within practice. While the group was very positive that these actions were in the plan – particularly in the emphasis placed on demonstrating people’s influence on policy outcomes -  there was agreement that they needed to be strengthened and made more specific
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-         Needed to reflect the fact that consultation and engagement not only needs to be embedded into processes but needs to be done well
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-         Also that doing it well needs to be effectively resourced
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-         There were some calls for more consistency in the design and delivery of programmes. What would this look like? Is it a standardised approach? A model we work with?
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-         Accessibility – both in language and ability to participate – were also highlighted as key factors
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Other points raised during the table discussions:
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o  Overall comment - Very central government focused and doesn’t include other organisations (parliament, local govt etc.). There are other actors out there, so as a next step there needs to be the connection between the different governmental actors in this field.
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o   Questions raised about Why the focus on children’s rights in Action 9* - shouldn’t it be wider human rights?
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>It was clarified that this was because the action related specifically to the implementation of the duties of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and further reference to our Human Rights obligations is picked up in Action 23.
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o  Questioned the use of ‘co-production’ in Action 11 noting that while Co-production is a popular word, no one is really willing to take responsibility with that. We need co-production to be resourced if we want it to be successful.
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'''Theme 4''': Open Data
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Key points raised:
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·        Are there too many action points? Would fewer and more succinct action points could be more realistic to deliver?
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-    It was clarified that each of the discreet actions are currently being worked up in different parts of government and as such are believed to be deliverable
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-    noted that there is value in targeting different plats of government to make specific changes as this keeps Open Government live on the agenda across departments
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-    acknowledged however that there is a need to consider the balance and trade-offs between breadth and depth of impact as we move forward.
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·        Is there a need for a national (UK or Scottish) leading "''driving body''" for open data commitments?
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o  To provide leadership
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o  To ensure commitments are delivered
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o  And which is resourced to fulfil these functions
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-         This need was identified in relation to the fact that there are already requirements to publish data but access, consistency and quality remain concerns.
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Other points raised during the table discussions:
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o  That there are actions relating to personal data as well as open data included under this theme. These should be separated.
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o  Education is necessary about the power of data. Do people know what is held about them?
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o  How does Big Data fit in?
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o  Organisations don't know what they have and so the idea of opening data presents many unknowns to people.
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'''Theme 5''': Public Accountability (Government Accountability to the Public)
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Key points raised:
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·        There was a call to investigate a new action relating to beneficial ownership / beneficiaries of decisions and contracts
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-         Acknowledged that there was something similar being investigated at a UK level
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-         Noted that there is already work underway to include a commitment on beneficial ownership in relation to land reform.
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-         Idea raised of introducing a beneficiary audit into the policy making process – in a similar way to equalities impact assessments are currently carried out
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Other points raised during the table discussions:
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o  Action 21 – relating to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals will be strengthened as part of the pioneer process
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o  Action 23 – relating our Human Rights treaty obligations – there are opportunities to strengthen this action through links with the Sustainable Development Goals
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o  Action 27 – regarding lobbying transparency - needs to be updated to reflect the current situation and focus on what can be achieved at the 2 year review point
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o  Is there is a need for a civil society body, someone the government can’t fire, to be charged with researching, monitoring and scrutinising processes (wider than the existing scrutiny of public appointments). But who is going to fund/resource this?
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'''Theme 6''': Technology & Innovation
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Key points raised:
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·        Does this need to be a separate theme? Should it not cut across / be integrated into all of the others?
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·        If it is to remain a separate theme then perhaps the focus needs to be less on technology and more on digital inclusion and participation
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·        The existing actions are very transactional, and don’t reference the challenge in the text, or the very real skills gap.
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·        throwing money at the internet isn’t enough and we need people to be taken through the process
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·        Meeting the needs of the ablest of the population are going to be cost-effective, but perhaps the people who need it the most are going to be the last who are touched by this technology. Perhaps the best strategy is to look at the 17% who don’t have any access at all, since that’s the big issue.
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·        Action 29 - There is a need for clarity and definition of terms - What is Digital Input, Direct Digital, Enhanced Digital?
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Other points raised during the table discussions:
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o  Local Govt: the delivery of services by 32 LAs mean that there’s differences across the country. How can we come to a united commitment on this front with this reality?
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'''Discussions about Strengthening the network and next steps'''
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Ruchir Shah (Policy Manager, SCVO) explained how the SCVO has been the key mechanism so far for bringing the voice of civil society into OGP conversations in Scotland and their role in mobilising participation. He stated that the task now is to widen, strengthen and potentially formalise the network and asked for suggestions on the way forward.
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How do we get more people involved?
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·        There is a good turnout here today – if everyone here identified one person or organisation that should be involved and actively approached them that would be a good start.
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·        There is a need to open up the language of Open Government so that more people, from a diverse range of civil society perspectives (both individuals and on behalf of organisations), are able to see it as meaningful and relevant to them.
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·        Suggestion that we need to start framing the Open Government agenda less as a ‘window’ and more as a ‘door’ i.e. not just a way to SEE IN (through access to information, open data, open contracting etc) but as a way to GET IN and influence change.
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·        Using the forum better – we need to get more interaction on the forum. Want it to be a genuine conversation between members where ideas can be tested out and debated.
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·        LGiU – offer to help get information out through their membership and updates/briefings
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·        ERS offer – to assist with building campaigns and coalitions around different aspects of the action plan as we move forward.
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Organising ourselves: Are we at the point that we need to start formalising the network and possibly appointing a steering group?
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·        Value of a steering group is that is establishes a clear point of contact and a representative body with a level of accountability for the process
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o  It was agreed that establishing a steering group would be a key next step and there will be a call for nominations put out to the membership
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·        Appointing a steering group however should not be about restricting access to conversations / information – instead it is an organising agent. The commitment should remain to open discussion among all members.
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·        Once formed a Steering Group could be the mechanism through which to establish lead partners or working groups as required to focus in on specific actions/themes in more detail
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·        Steering group should also have an active role in building a relationship with the responsible Minister post-election.
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The question of limiting access to the Forum to civil society members, as has been done in other areas, was raised.
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·        The strong commitment of Scottish Government at present was acknowledged
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·        We want to be open and operate openly - building trust between partners who are all working in the interest of the OGP was seen as central to this
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o   It was agreed that the forum group would remain open to both government and civil society partners at present
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o  It was agreed that we could always re-visit the idea of adding an additional civil society only space if members thought this would be helpful  - eg to organise a campaign or coalition to wield civil society’s ‘big stick’ when required
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''' '''
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'''Actions / Next Steps:'''
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·        If you are not already a member of the forum please join - <nowiki>http://forum.opengovernment.org.uk/groups/opengovscot</nowiki>
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·        Start a strand on the forum to update members about progress towards the publication of the UK action plan
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·        Start a strand on the forum to discuss and update what ‘pioneer’ status will mean in reality
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·        Involve/SCVO to issue an open call for nominations to establish a Steering Group to the membership

Revision as of 12:01, 6 March 2018

About

About this planning page

This planning page has been set up by Scotland's Open Government Network and the Scottish Government to openly plan the process for developing Scotland's second Open Government Action Plan. It has been set up to collaboratively build the engagement process and to document the decisions and actions that are taken. More details about the next action plan can be found below.

How it works

Both the network and Scottish Government are working together to build a comprehensive plan to help us deliver the next action plan. The Network's Coordinator (Paul Bradley) and equivalent at the Scottish Government (Emma Harvey) are steering the process and are liaising with Government colleagues and members of Scotland's OpenGov Network (Action Plan Sub-group) to build the plan. All information from planning meetings, engagement outputs and the overall process will be published here.

How to contribute

We have selected this open source platform with you in mind! Whilst the basics have already been mapped out on this page, anyone can suggest additions or changes to our engagement process by simply editing a section. We encourage you to do so, and all we ask is that you add your name after your edit.

About Scotland's Open Government Partnership (OGP) Action Plan 2018 - 2020

This is part of Scotland's promise as a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), to work with citizens and civil society to implement open government reforms. Last year, Scotland became part of the Pioneer Tier of the Open Government Partnership, a pilot program consisting of 15 more local governments with action plans to open up government throughout 2017. With the 2017 plan coming to an end (see more here), this year sees Scotland begin to develop and launch its 2018-2020 open government action plan.

What it's about

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 has three parts:

  1. Transparency – opening up of government data and information on areas such as public spending, government contracts, lobbying activity, the development and impact of policy, and public service performance.
  2. Participation – support for a strong and independent civil society, the involvement of citizens and other stakeholders in decision making processes, and protection for whistleblowers and others who highlight waste, negligence or corruption in government.
  3. Accountability – rules, laws and mechanisms that ensure government listens, learns, responds and changes when it needs to.

Good open government reforms can transform the way government and public services work, ensuring that they are properly responsive to citizens, while improving their efficiency and effectiveness, and preventing abuses of state power.

How it works

The Scottish Government will co-create the 2018-2020 National Action Plan (NAP) with civil society. The action plan is at the core of a Scotland's participation in OGP. It should be the product of a co-creation and participatory process in which the Scottish Government and civil society (with support of Scotland's Open Government Network) jointly develop commitments.

Successful OGP action plans focus on significant national open government priorities and ambitious reforms; are relevant to the values of transparency, accountability, and public participation; and contain specific, time-bound, and measurable commitments. Working with the Scottish Government, the network hopes we can develop the best possible process for the 2018 – 2020 OGP Action Plan to be delivered in an open, transparent and inclusive way.

Who can get involved

You do not need to be an expert on open government – we are looking for interested and empassioned citizens, community groups and civil society organisations who want to have a say and offer their ideas on how government at a local, regional and national level could be done better and in a more open way. That applies for anyone interested in supporting the process of creating the action plan or contributing to the actual content.

Engagement Plan

Project overview

Key details

Leads: Paul Bradley (Scot OGN) and Emma Harvey (Scottish Government)

Start date: 10th January 2018 | Completion date: 1st September 2018

Government team involved: Ingage | Network team involved: Action Plan Collaboration Sub-group

Purpose of Engagement: To involve and collaborate with Scotland’s civil society and public to develop commitments to be considered for inclusion in Scotland’s second Open Government Action Plan

Engagement objectives

1.   Develop Scotland’s second Open Government Action Plan in collaboration between Scottish Government and Scottish Civil Society

2.   Increase opportunities for members of Scotland’s Open Government Network to shape open government action plans.  

3.  Reach out to groups identified to be either interested in open government or the issues being discussed

4.  Ensure that all those participating understand what impact their contributions have made.

5.  Raise awareness of what open government objectives are, of Scotland’s place in the Open Government Partnership and of Scotland’s Open Government Network.

Delivery timelines

OGP in Scotland timeline

  January February March April May June July August September
Self-Assessment Report    +++++            
IRM End of Term Report      +++++            
OGP Scottish Action Plan Development    +++++  +++++  +++++  +++++  +++++  +++++    
OGP Summit in Georgia              +++++    
Action Plan Delivery Window              +++++  +++++  +++++
Implementation of Action plan                  +++++ >>

Formal action plan deadline: 31 August 2018 

Action plan delivery window: SN should deliver their SNAP within a three 
month period from June 30th to September 30, 2018 


Action plan implementation: Regardless of when the SNAP is delivered, SNAP 
implementation would end on 31 August 2020 


Plan contents: 3 to 5 commitments limit per action plan

2017 action plan: The final IRM End of Term Report analysing the success of Scotland’s first open government action plan will be published in March 2018.  


Project timeline

Stage One

(Jan - Mar)

Stage Two

(Feb - Mar)

Stage Three

(Mar - May)

Stage Four

(Apr - May)

Stage Five

(May)

Stage Six

(Jul)

Input into engagement & governance approaches Raising awareness Input into Scottish Action Plan Co-creating Commitments Government approval Launch of OGP Action Plan
Network’s views sought on mobilisation plan and OGP Governance plan Use of networks, social media, organisations to reach higher input Recommendations for commitments in Scotland’s NAP collected Commitments are prioritised, discussed and shortlist agreed on OGP Steering Committee agree plan for Scottish Government sign off Action plan is ready for launch at OGP Summit in Tbilisi (16th / 17th)

Full engagement timeline

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept
Engagement Stages Stage One: Input into engagement and governance  +++ +++  +++            
Stage Two: Raising awareness   +++  +++            
Stage Three: Input into Scottish Action Plan      +++  +++  +++        
Stage Four: Co-creating Commitments        +++  +++        
Stage Five: Government approval          +++        
Stage Six: Launch of OGP Action Plan             +++    
Stage One

Input into engagement

& governance approaches

OGP Governance Draft (Action Plan Sub Group)  +++                
OGP Governance Draft (shared with network)  +++              
New OGP Governance signed-off      +++            
Civil Society selection for OGP Governance      +++            
OGP Governance in place        +++          
Meetings of OGP Steering Committee        +++          
Action Plan Engagement Plan draft developed    +++              
Action Plan Engagement Plan draft (shared with network)    +++            
Final Action Plan Engagement Plan ready      +++            
Stage Two

Raising awareness

Network Newsletter  +++
Joint blog  +++
DIY workshop pack and social/comms pack  +++
Stage Three

Input into Scottish Action Plan

Online engagement      +++  +++          
Workshop engagement      +++  +++        
Feedback on engagement and next steps        +++    
Stage Four

Co-creating committments

Co-creating event  +++
Meeting of OGP Multi-stakeholder forum  +++
Feedback on engagement and next steps  +++
Stage Five

Government approval

 +++
Stage Six

Launch of OGP action plan

 +++

Engagement mapping

Levels of engagement

Stay informed Have your say Collaborate
  • Get information on our website
  • Register for emails
  • Read blogs
  • Follow @opengovscot and #OpenGovScot
  • Take part in briefing events/webinars
  • Join the online forum
  • Share thoughts on governance and engagement 
  • Suggest an action for the action plan
  • Participate in an event or workshop
  • Join an OGP working group
  • Join the OGP Steering Group
  • Help prioritise commitments
  • Co-create final commitments submitted to Scottish Cabinet  

Available channels

There are a number of communication channels we will use to ensure that appropriate groups and individuals are receiving the right information at the right time. Below is the table of planned activity that will be delivered. This maps the minimum outputs that will be delivered. This is a working document and will be populated as events, campaigns and activity is timetabled.  

Websites Forums Email Social Media Events People
OGN Website OGN Forum Email campaign Social media campaign Press release Briefings Partners
Partner Websites External forums Newsletter Targeted adverts Third force news Workshops Network members
ScotGov Website Forum postings Meet-up series Media Interviews Meet-up series OG Advocates/Champions
OpenGov Wiki
Dialogue (ScotGov)
Channel Objectives Details Performance indicators
Online Scotland OpenGov Website To host primary information about the project and outputs including blogs, articles, news etc. -     Dedicates pages for next action plan

-     Landing page for anyone interested in the plan

-     Events, blogs, news, interviews, profiles shared

-     Meeting notes, governance, engagement plans published

-     
Scotland OpenGov Forum To provide a space for interested parties to form a network and receive information about open government initiatives. -     Forums used by the partners to develop the civil society network in all the UK home nations.  -     
Scotland OpenGov Twitter (@opengovscot) To enhance relationships with stakeholders and partners and increase visibility of the Open Government and SDG brands -     Aim for tweets each day. 

-     Use of schedule function to maintain activity throughout week.

-     Take advantage of relevant conferences and events to increase followers and disseminate message to active groups

-     Live updates through project events  

-     
Open Govt Wiki Site To openly record and monitor project progress -     https://opengovpioneers.miraheze.org  

-     Wiki will provide the primary information site for the project, and will be an interactive resource for the project's overall development. This is a collaborative site maintained by SCVO under a Creative Commons CCL license.

-     
Scottish Government Website
Press Third Force News To promote specific hot topics related to government delivery e.g. privacy, corruption, transparency and their connection to the sector -     Promoting Open Government events, topics through editorials and comment pieces connected to relevant/live issues.
THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED

Stakeholders

In development

Engagement activity

Stage One: Input into engagement and governance (Jan - Mar)

Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Complete Comments
1 OGP Action Plan Sub-group meeting – OGP Governance in Scotland Fri 12th January – Edinburgh MTC
  • Develop proposal on OGP Governance
  • Co-developing governance with ScotGov
  • Attended by Emma H, Kaela S, Elric H, Alex S, Paul 
Emma Harvey / Paul Bradley COMPLETE
  • Draft proposal to be circulated
  • Mid-late January timeline
2 Fire Starter Festival – when Open Government met co-production… Thu 1st February 10:30 – 12:30

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

  • Opportunity to learn from the process of developing the first plan, and help shape the process this time round.
  • Open to everyone with an interest in open government or co-production
Emma Harvey COMPLETE
3 Governance proposals circulated to OpenGovScot Network for feedback w/c 12th February – 26th February
  • Draft proposal circulated to members of the network for feedback.
Paul Bradley/Emma Harvey COMPLETE
  • Overall feedback was positive but a few issues fed back.
  • A paper with input will be pulled together and shared online.
4 Mobilisation plan input from Network’s Action-Plan sub-group. Wednesday 28th February - 3pm - 4:30pm
  • Meeting between Government and members of the group to discuss action plan engagement process, next steps, and responsibilities
Paul Bradley/Emma Harvey IN PROGRESS
4 Meeting of existing OGP Steering Group to discuss engagement and governance 13.00 – 15.00, 23 March 2018

2 West Rear, St Andrews House, Edinburgh

Agenda

1.   2017 Action Plan 

a.   self reporting 

b.   continuous monitoring of unfinished commitments

c.    UK plan commitment – Ministerial meeting

2.   Future Governance 

a.   Draft Articles of Governance

b.   Government Steering Group membership

3.   2018 – 2020 Plan

a.   Engagement

b.   Priorities

4.   SG Executive team discussion

Emma Harvey IN PROGRESS Agenda circulated and date confirmed.
5 Civil society nomination process Monday 26th March - Friday 6th April 2018
  • Members of Scotland's Open Government Network will have two working weeks to submit their nominations to join the new OGP multi-stakeholder forum.
Paul Bradley Draft process currently being developed w/c 26th February 2018
6 Civil society election process Monday 9th April - Friday 20th April 2018
  • If move than 8 nominations are received, members of Scotland's Open Government Network will have two working weeks to vote for who they would like to join the new OGP multi-stakeholder forum, using the Borda Count methodology.
Paul Bradley " "

Stage Two: Raising awareness (Feb - Mar)

Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Complete Comments
1 Twitter Graphics w/c 29th January To promote next steps with for both Scotland’s first and second OpenGov Action Plans. Paul COMPLETE
2 Next Steps Communications w/c 26th February To promote changes to Scotland’s OGP Governance and timescale for developing next action plan. Paul/Emma IN PROGRESS
2.a Blog w/c 26th February Joint blog between ScotGov and Network Paul IN PROGRESS
2.b Newsletter entry w/c 26th February Newsletter via Network - next steps, what do you need to support us, what else should we consider, info on 'host your own event' pack Paul/Emma IN PROGRESS
3 Comms/Social media pack w/c 5th March For partner organisations to share information about Scotland’s second OpenGov Action Plan. Paul
4 TFN interview/blog on outcomes from first action plan (possible wider interest) w/c 1st April Paul Bradley

Stage Three: Input into Scottish Action Plan (Mar - May)

Core activities
Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Comments
1 Host your own workshop - collaborator pack developed w/c 5th March 2018 Tools for organizations to host their own crowdsourcing workshops to feed into the development of OpenGov Action Plan. Emma Harvey/Paul Bradley
2 Action Plan Workshops April 2018 Engagement events across Scotland during March/April Emma Harvey
2.a Event One: Date TBC
2.b Event Two: Date TBC
2.c Event Three: Date TBC
2.d Event Four: Date TBC
2.e Event Five: Date TBC
2.f Event Six: Date TBC
2.g Event Seven: See stage four
3 Online contributors platform (Ideas - Dialogue) Chris
Other activities
Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Comments
1 UK Wide ‘Reimagine Democracy Conference’ 15th March 2018, Belfast and online via live stream Paul Bradley How can we use online aspects to promote Scottish plan and ideas?
1.a Satellite event with Young Women’s Movement 15th March, Edinburgh Ruth Boyle
1.b Satellite event with IDEAS Young Citizens Advocates group 15th March,

Glasgow

Allan Young
2 Mapping of existing input and external resources w/c 5th March 2018 Collating relevant information on themes and commitments to avoid fatigue of same questions. Paul Bradley / Emma Harvey
3 OGP Summit meeting (hosted by Scottish Government) w/c 9th April 2018 UK wide summit hosted by the Scottish Government (more details to follow) Emma Harvey
4 Our Democracy Impact Event and Reports (ERS Scotland) 21st April 2018 Initial conversation from Alice at ERS Scotland about linking up with their campaign. Need to consider further Paul Bradley
5 UK wide UK Gov/Network event in London - Unconference for UK Action Plan June Scotland feeding into UK wide OpenGov Action Plan

Stage Four: Co-creating Commitments (April - May)

Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Comments

Stage Five: Government Approval (May)

Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Comments

Stage Six: Launch of OGP Action Plan (July)

Activity Date/Time/Location Activity description Responsibility Comments
1 Tbilisi Summit, Georgia 17-19th July 2018
1.a Scottish Government / Scottish Open Government Network event at Tbilisi Summit
1.b Open Government Pioneers Project Submission to Tbilisi Summit

Delivery Team Planner

Tasks

Task Name Deadline Person Responsible Notes Completed
Explore Dig opportunities - ScotGov February 2018 Emma Harvey Possible involvement of Chris Connolly at ScotGov Completed
Meeting of OGN/ScotGov Monday 26th Feb Paul Bradley Collaborative meeting to discuss next steps and responsibilities Completed
Set up planning page on wiki Friday 2nd March Paul Bradley New planning page with information about process Completed
Procurement for workshops Emma Harvey Establish process for procuring facilitators for the Scotland wide events
Newsletter sent to network Friday 9th March Paul Bradley With input from Emma - process, next steps, narrative, how to support
Joint blog to use on various sites Friday 9th March Paul Bradley As above
Meeting to review previous input Friday 9th March Emma Harvey With Emma Harvey and Paul Bradley - possible Action Plan group
Edit and add to planning wiki Weds 7th March Elric, Emma, Chris Developing the process before mail out to network and wider promo
Share previous input (2016) Friday 2nd March Paul Bradley Circulate to Action Plan Sub-group and ScotGov
Mapping of key orgs/groups Friday 9th March Elric Honore
Forming Narrative of OGP Scot Friday 9th March All Create space on wiki to start adding to. Everyone to edit
Develop DIY workshop pack

Meeting notes

Meeting Scoping opportunities and next steps for the action plan engagement process
Team Emma Harvey (ScotGov), Paul Bradley (SCVO), Leah Lockhart (DemSoc)
Date  Monday 12th February 2018
Notes
OGP Action Plan Engagement Mapping.jpg
Tasks
  • Write up draft engagement plan on wiki
  • Share engagement plan with Action Plan sub-group
  • Set up meeting between ScotGov and Action Plan sub-group
  • Joint blog and newsletter outlining process and next steps
  • Desk research - what has already been discussed in previous process
  • Explore set piece events taking place across Scotland
  • Scope digital opportunities (ScotGov)
Meeting ScotGov and Scot OGN planning session
Team Emma Harvey (ScotGov), Paul Bradley (SCVO), Chris Connolly (ScotGov),

Elric Honore (Fife Centre for Equalities), Andreas Pavlou (Involve)

Date  Wednesday 28th February 2018
Notes
  • The previous meeting held on 12th February was a bit of a brain dump - where do we get started with this? Helpful session to get it all down
  • When considering engagement, we need to look at those who will be impacted by OpenGov and those working in the areas with expertise (two strands)
  • Key piece of work to get right is around messaging - what do we want to achieve, what can open government achieve, why should people get involved - essentially a story around OGP in Scotland
  • Looking to hold a range of events across Scotland, but little capacity within the network and government to take this forward. Need to look at procuring services from facilitators so we can keep a handle on overall approach
  • Events would take place at the beginning of the process - potential to have a closing event that's more focused on pulling information together and creating specific committments.
  • Need to be respectful to people's input into previous action plan process - where did all that information go? Let's re-use as our starting point.
  • Online tools to be used to link up to any events, as well as during engagement process - Ideas (dialogue) one option. Chris to explore further with us when we have a clearer approach.
  • Vital we close the feedback loop
  • Further consideration needed of how Scotland will also feed into UK Open Government Action Plan.
Tasks
  • Write newsletter and joint blog
  • Create new wiki page and update with new content
  • Mapping on organisations and group that should be connected
  • Form the narrative around open government in Scotland - why?
  • Continue with planning for events - procurement process for hosts/faciliators
  • Set up meeting to review previous inputs during 2016 crowdsourcing
  • Review links to fairer Scotland online approach

The value of OGP Scotland

What frustrates people about government?

What would people like to see from government?

What are the features of open government action plan that reduce these frustrations and maximise what people would like to see from government?

What specific benefits does the action plan bring?

What examples and experiences are there that support this narrative?

Why should people get involved and care?

2016/17 input (Previous action plan)

Scottish Commitments for the UK National Action Plan (January 2016)

Theme 1: Access to Information

Challenge: Ensuring that access to information is based on the principle of transparency and openness and that FOI laws are an integral part of the wider approach.  .

Context:

As a central part of Open Government, it is important that members of the public and organisations can access the information they need from Scottish public bodies in a form that they can use.  This is so that people can pursue interests, participate in government decision making and ensure the public sector is held to account for its policies and spending.  This recognises that the “Right to Know” is a cornerstone of democratic engagement and helping governments to improve continuously.  This requires a system that obligates Scottish public authorities to both respond to information requests within set timescales and to publish information proactively where there is a public interest.  The Scottish Government’s Open Data Strategy complements the right to information under FOI and aims to ensure anonymised data generated by public bodies is made available through easily accessible channels.

Actions:

  1. We will develop a framework to proactively publish government research timeously; to set out the evidence and research used in policy development by Scottish Government.
  2. We will adopt a new Scottish Government website from 2016, which will make it easier for people to locate the information they are looking for, including information which has been proactively published.
  3. We will actively seek ways to promote openness through access to information, using the statutory powers available to us. Specifically, we will:
    • ensure effective implementation of our current commitment to bring organisations who own or manage private prisons, secure children’s accommodation, grant-aided schools, independent special schools, and Scottish Health Innovations Limited within the scope of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA);
    • consult in 2016 on options for extending access to information held by registered social landlords;
    • ensure that any new legislation actively considers creating access to information provisions, or bringing new bodies within the scope of FOISA; and
    • work with Civil Society and the Scottish Information Commissioner to identify organisations which deliver ‘functions of a public nature’ and whether all or part of their work should be subject to FOISA or other transparency initiatives.
  4. During the next Parliament, we will bring forward an order under FOISA to remove some of the statutory legislative barriers to release of information. While in some cases there are legitimate reasons for legislation to prohibit the release of certain types of information (such as to protect national security), there are a few, mainly older pieces of legislation where the restrictions now seem to be outdated and not consistent with our commitment to open government.

Commitment: Protect FOI rights, improve proactive publication and maximise information.

Theme 2: Anti- Corruption (Transparency as Regulation)

Challenge: Maintain trust, integrity & accountability in government

Context

Corruption harms societies, undermines economic development and threatens democracy (UK anti-corruption plan, December 2014).  Corruption is the abuse of power for personal or other benefit; involving dishonest or fraudulent activity, often involving bribery. It is insidious and reduces public confidence in institutions and organisations. Acting publicly and openly against corruption will reduce the potential for corruption and reinstate public confidence in organisations, particularly those funded by the public purse. 

Actions:

  1.  To improve engagement with public sector organisations regarding counter-fraud and anti- corruption activities through active awareness-raising, training, self-assessment and / or audit. To ensure that all bodies make a clear commitment to ethical standards in public life and develop a fraud plan in order to enhance their approach to countering fraud.

Commitment: For Scotland to be a leader in identifying and preventing corruption and the risk of  fraud and corruption in the public sector

Theme 3: Civic Participation (Citizen Engagement & Participatory Democracy)

Challenge: To ensure that our government, working with civil society, creates the conditions, systems, processes and mechanisms for people to be involved in and to influence the decisions that affect their lives. Scottish Ministers and Scottish civil society want to see a step change in society and in how the Scottish Government does its work.  There are 3 clear priorities of government:  prosperity, tackling inequalities and protecting and reforming public services.  For all of this work there is an expectation of increased involvement of citizens and a requirement for us to work with and pass power to people and communities, to deliver a fairer and a more prosperous society.

Context

Open government requires openness to citizen participation and engagement in policy making and governance, including basic protections for civil liberties and human rights.  In Scotland we recognise that the benefits of engagement can include: better outcomes for individuals, families and communities; a more robust and sustainable economy; better service delivery; more engaged and empowered citizens; leading to greater trust and understanding of government.  This process of recognising  and building on the strengths of people is the basis of our drive to reform public service, with people, rather than to them and is described as the Scottish Approach.

Actions:

  1. Implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, which provides a legal framework to encourage participation and empowerment across a range of topics including: community planning; an expanded community right to buy; a new right for community bodies to request transfer of public sector land and buildings; public participation in decision making; and participation requests which enable community bodies to put forward ideas to improve outcomes.
  2. A proof of concept and learning exercise  to assess whether it is possible to apply participative approaches to national decisions on Scotland’s national budget.  This will  include consideration of the use of an open data approach to the national budget information to complement participatory budgeting at local and national levels.
  3. To review, refresh and promote the National Standards of Community Engagement
  4. To develop  a systematic approach to supporting children’s rights in Scotland as defined in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  5. Continue development of our approach to consultation, deploying an array of digital and other techniques to broaden our participation in consultation, make participation in consultations accessible and inviting, demonstrating clearly what the consultation has produced and how this has influenced the policy outcome. In developing this work, we will regularly draw feedback from citizens, e.g. through consultation hack events, and learn from       what we hear to develop our approach further.
  6. To embed citizen participation, the Scottish approach we will develop a system and a number of clear places or projects to test out a range of approaches to policy development and service delivery with people.  This will include participation, collaboration and co-production; to build on the strengths of people and communities, recognising the contribution that people make.  An early example of this is the National Conversation on a                 Fairer Scotland which has tested out a high profile deliberative approach with a wide range of citizens, on the theme of tackling inequality in Scotland. The actions to emerge from Fairer Scotland will continue to be tested using a range of innovative techniques for involving citizens. In partners so we can pay careful attention to what we learn, building this in to developments as we proceed. 
  7. The Scottish Cabinet will meet in towns and cities outside Edinburgh at least once every two months. As part of this programme open public discussions will be held in community venues where members of the public are able to attend to question the Scottish Government on their policies and to raise local and national concerns. We will ensure Scottish ministers do more online including question and answers with the public, and                 participate in online deliberative conversations. We will also invest in digital participation programmes to ensure more people can participate in this.

Commitment: Encourage innovative forms of participation, engagement and collaboration

Theme 4: Open Data

Challenge: The challenge in Scotland is to escalate the pace and scale of openly accessible data, building on current good practice, open standards and ensuring  the on-going engagement of a widening community of data users to identify data for priority release.

Context

Open data is the raw material of open knowledge.  Accessible, usable and shared data creates knowledge and innovative processes.  By making data that the public sector holds open it enables communities and individuals to hold government to account, understand more about public services, gain insight into their own community and contribute to the future design and delivery of public services.   Publishing public  sector data in a reusable form empowers others to use the data for new and exciting purposes (data innovation), to the benefit of the economy and society, while taking full account of the importance of cyber security and privacy.

Actions:

  1. Require all public sector organisations to develop and implement their own Open Data publication plans. (Evidencing a baseline 3* format by 2017) and support citizens to re-use                                        and re-        interpret this data to support their communities
  2. To launch an open data platform to publish the data behind Scottish Official Statistics so that it is discoverable, accessible and reusable.
  3. We will make the use of surveillance in Scotland more open by bringing together relevant information (legislation, Codes of Practice, reports on oversight / use of powers, information about safeguards) in a single, publicly-accessible portal.           
  4. Public bodies will publish contract award information on Public Contracts Scotland.
  5. We will develop international business interoperability standard for public procurement in Scotland.
  6. Pilot an open data approach to budget information to complement participatory budgeting  at local and national levels. (Action yet to be agreed)
  7. We will test out approaches to develop greater ownership by citizens over their own data. This will include pilots where citizens get to decide with whom they share their data.
  8. We will develop the Health and Social Care Data Integration and Intelligence Platform with and to include services provided by the third and Independent sectors along with other Information to support planning of care with and for local populations; and to work with data-controllers to ensure that all of the (non-personal) outputs for all Partnerships are made generally available, on a labelled basis, In a discoverable, accessible and reusable format.

Commitment: To open up more publicly held data to many more citizens in a form they can use to innovate and empower themselves and their communities.

Theme 5: Public Accountability (Government Accountability to the Public)

Challenge: Ensure Government is more accountable to citizens

Context:  On a national and international level, Scottish Government tracks and proactively publishes the Nation’s progress against a broad sweep of performance indicators through Scotland Performs. The data sets that support that system will also enable the development of a framework to track progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.  

There is also a need to take a balanced approach to improving the accountability of our vital institutions, such as the justice system and courts as well as for outsourced services.  

A modern political system needs people and organisations from outside government and parliament to take the time to speak to and inform people about public policy. Some people and organisations may be paid as professionals to do so on behalf of others, representing either collective or individual interests. It is important for our democracy that this critical function is open and transparent and is protected from suspicion or misuse.

Actions:

  1. The development of a robust framework which enables Scotland’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals to be driven and measured meaningfully.
  2. To update and improve the national indicator set in the National Performance Framework we will produce a refreshed indicator set which takes account of improved data availability and addresses the key gap areas by Spring 2016.
  3. We will review and improve reporting on Scotland’s human rights treaty obligations.
  4. We will develop Open Contracting Strategy, to ensure that the public can identify who is delivering government contracts including contract management and performance reporting mechanisms
  5. To introduce modern civil and criminal case management systems into Scottish courts, moving away from paper-based processes, minimising duplicate data and allow SCTS to transact business electronically with court users.
  6. Publish an annual report setting out how the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service carries out its functions. The report is made available to the Scottish Parliament.
  7. Bring forward and  implement legislation in the Scottish Parliament to establish a publicly available register of those who lobby MSPs and Ministers to make public external influence on government and in Scotland, keeping bureaucracy to the minimum required to ensure public trust without preventing engagement in our democracy.

Commitment: For Scotland to be a leader in safeguarding trust in our democratic processes and institutions

Theme 6: Technology & Innovation

Challenge: To harness technology to build the capacity of citizens to participate more directly in the decisions that affect their lives.

Context

Technology is fast becoming an essential tool to participate fully in our society and democratic processes, but the pace of change leaves far too many people behind. If we want more people to be empowered to participate in Scottish society, then we will need to invest in the capacity of more of our citizens to participate through technology in the decisions that affect them.

Actions:

  1. As people have improved access to information, the question of what to do with it becomes important. We will seek to engage citizens in the co-production of new digital and non-digital ‘information use’ services , training and tools .
  2. Open government rests heavily on digital tools and services – yet for many use of digital tools is problematic or impossible. We will address this through developing standards for Digital Input, Direct Digital and Enhanced Digital to ensure all citizens can participate in digital open government platforms and channels

Commitment: Explore & develop new ways to harness technology to improve our democracy

Scottish Civil Society Network workshop meeting (April 2016)

(A list of attendees can be found at the end of these notes)

Lucy McTernan (Deputy Chief Executive SCVO), Tim Hughes (UK Open Government Civil Society Network Co-ordinator from Involve) and Doreen Grove (Scottish Government) opened the workshop and provided an overview of the Open Government Partnership, Scotland’s involvement to date, the role of the Civil Society Network and the implications and opportunities of Scotland having now been selected as a sub-national pilot site as background to the discussions.

More background and information on all of these points can be found at:

http://www.opengovernment.org.uk/

http://forum.opengovernment.org.uk/groups/opengovscot

Discussions on the draft Scottish Commitments:

In table groups participants looked at the commitments included in the draft Scottish Commitments for the UK National Action Plan with each group focusing on 2 themes.

1)      Access to Information with Open Data

2)      Civic Participation with Technology and Innovation

3)      Anti-Corruption with Public Accountability

The purpose of these discussions was to review the existing commitments and identify any areas of concern (before they go to government for signoff post-election) and/or opportunities for strengthening or extending these commitments in the future. Key points from each group were then fed back to the room for wider comment and discussion.

Theme 1: Access to Information

Key points raised:

·        That we need to step up our ambitions through a change to the wording of the Access to Information commitment. This should put more stress on the need to push this forward, not just protect what is already there. The new suggested wording is therefore: "Drive proactive publication, protect and enhance proactive publication in order to maximise information.”

·        There needs to be more emphasis in this and the open data sections on digital inclusion and efforts to improve digital literacy so that accessible information is useable

-    There is a duty to publish and respond. This should be enforced/regulated so that information is available and accessible.

-    But people need to know how to access it. Support is needed for how to make data available as well as why to make it available.

-    There are issues with data and IT literacy. How can people interpret the existing data?

Other points raised during the table discussions:

o  Who benefits from data being available and accessible?

o  Citizens need to better understand what data is available, why it's there, how it can be used, why that is significant, why it is powerful.

Theme 2: Anti- Corruption (Transparency as Regulation)

Key points raised:

·        There is a need to widen the way corruption is presented in the context to include a focus on systems, behaviours and practices that, while not necessarily illegal, undermine the integrity of public governance.

-         Needs to encompass the types of practices that, like a ‘computer virus’, gets into the system and creates outcomes that are not beneficial – causing decay and potentially leading to system breakdown.

Other points raised during the table discussions:

o  A need to look further at proceeds of crime in compliment to the cashback for communities programme to look at widening social benefits

o  The current PFI scandal has highlighted the need for greater transparency re beneficiaries and accountability and how commercial confidentiality can be used to restrict information. There should be a way of demanding that companies ‘open their books’

o  Should there be a reference here to the Scottish government’s new tax and social security powers?

Theme 3: Civic Participation (Citizen Engagement & Participatory Democracy)

Key points raised:

·        Action 6 – regarding the implementation of the Community Empowerment Act. The group felt there was a need to reflect not just the implementation of the Act but also the ambition and impact of the Act in the action.

-         There was also a question of whether it should be included as an action if as it was already happening. What did having it here add?

-         There was a suggestion to widen the wording of the action to include scrutiny of the impact and outcomes from the act

·        Actions 10 and 11 – regarding widening the approach and range of tools used for support consultation and engagement and embedding this within practice. While the group was very positive that these actions were in the plan – particularly in the emphasis placed on demonstrating people’s influence on policy outcomes -  there was agreement that they needed to be strengthened and made more specific

-         Needed to reflect the fact that consultation and engagement not only needs to be embedded into processes but needs to be done well

-         Also that doing it well needs to be effectively resourced

-         There were some calls for more consistency in the design and delivery of programmes. What would this look like? Is it a standardised approach? A model we work with?

-         Accessibility – both in language and ability to participate – were also highlighted as key factors

Other points raised during the table discussions:

o  Overall comment - Very central government focused and doesn’t include other organisations (parliament, local govt etc.). There are other actors out there, so as a next step there needs to be the connection between the different governmental actors in this field.

o   Questions raised about Why the focus on children’s rights in Action 9* - shouldn’t it be wider human rights?

*It was clarified that this was because the action related specifically to the implementation of the duties of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and further reference to our Human Rights obligations is picked up in Action 23.

o  Questioned the use of ‘co-production’ in Action 11 noting that while Co-production is a popular word, no one is really willing to take responsibility with that. We need co-production to be resourced if we want it to be successful.

Theme 4: Open Data

Key points raised:

·        Are there too many action points? Would fewer and more succinct action points could be more realistic to deliver?

-    It was clarified that each of the discreet actions are currently being worked up in different parts of government and as such are believed to be deliverable

-    noted that there is value in targeting different plats of government to make specific changes as this keeps Open Government live on the agenda across departments

-    acknowledged however that there is a need to consider the balance and trade-offs between breadth and depth of impact as we move forward.

·        Is there a need for a national (UK or Scottish) leading "driving body" for open data commitments?

o  To provide leadership

o  To ensure commitments are delivered

o  And which is resourced to fulfil these functions

-         This need was identified in relation to the fact that there are already requirements to publish data but access, consistency and quality remain concerns.

Other points raised during the table discussions:

o  That there are actions relating to personal data as well as open data included under this theme. These should be separated.

o  Education is necessary about the power of data. Do people know what is held about them?

o  How does Big Data fit in?

o  Organisations don't know what they have and so the idea of opening data presents many unknowns to people.

Theme 5: Public Accountability (Government Accountability to the Public)

Key points raised:

·        There was a call to investigate a new action relating to beneficial ownership / beneficiaries of decisions and contracts

-         Acknowledged that there was something similar being investigated at a UK level

-         Noted that there is already work underway to include a commitment on beneficial ownership in relation to land reform.

-         Idea raised of introducing a beneficiary audit into the policy making process – in a similar way to equalities impact assessments are currently carried out

Other points raised during the table discussions:

o  Action 21 – relating to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals will be strengthened as part of the pioneer process

o  Action 23 – relating our Human Rights treaty obligations – there are opportunities to strengthen this action through links with the Sustainable Development Goals

o  Action 27 – regarding lobbying transparency - needs to be updated to reflect the current situation and focus on what can be achieved at the 2 year review point

o  Is there is a need for a civil society body, someone the government can’t fire, to be charged with researching, monitoring and scrutinising processes (wider than the existing scrutiny of public appointments). But who is going to fund/resource this?

Theme 6: Technology & Innovation

Key points raised:

·        Does this need to be a separate theme? Should it not cut across / be integrated into all of the others?

·        If it is to remain a separate theme then perhaps the focus needs to be less on technology and more on digital inclusion and participation

·        The existing actions are very transactional, and don’t reference the challenge in the text, or the very real skills gap.

·        throwing money at the internet isn’t enough and we need people to be taken through the process

·        Meeting the needs of the ablest of the population are going to be cost-effective, but perhaps the people who need it the most are going to be the last who are touched by this technology. Perhaps the best strategy is to look at the 17% who don’t have any access at all, since that’s the big issue.

·        Action 29 - There is a need for clarity and definition of terms - What is Digital Input, Direct Digital, Enhanced Digital?

Other points raised during the table discussions:

o  Local Govt: the delivery of services by 32 LAs mean that there’s differences across the country. How can we come to a united commitment on this front with this reality?

Discussions about Strengthening the network and next steps

Ruchir Shah (Policy Manager, SCVO) explained how the SCVO has been the key mechanism so far for bringing the voice of civil society into OGP conversations in Scotland and their role in mobilising participation. He stated that the task now is to widen, strengthen and potentially formalise the network and asked for suggestions on the way forward.

How do we get more people involved?

·        There is a good turnout here today – if everyone here identified one person or organisation that should be involved and actively approached them that would be a good start.

·        There is a need to open up the language of Open Government so that more people, from a diverse range of civil society perspectives (both individuals and on behalf of organisations), are able to see it as meaningful and relevant to them.

·        Suggestion that we need to start framing the Open Government agenda less as a ‘window’ and more as a ‘door’ i.e. not just a way to SEE IN (through access to information, open data, open contracting etc) but as a way to GET IN and influence change.

·        Using the forum better – we need to get more interaction on the forum. Want it to be a genuine conversation between members where ideas can be tested out and debated.

·        LGiU – offer to help get information out through their membership and updates/briefings

·        ERS offer – to assist with building campaigns and coalitions around different aspects of the action plan as we move forward.

Organising ourselves: Are we at the point that we need to start formalising the network and possibly appointing a steering group?

·        Value of a steering group is that is establishes a clear point of contact and a representative body with a level of accountability for the process

o  It was agreed that establishing a steering group would be a key next step and there will be a call for nominations put out to the membership

·        Appointing a steering group however should not be about restricting access to conversations / information – instead it is an organising agent. The commitment should remain to open discussion among all members.

·        Once formed a Steering Group could be the mechanism through which to establish lead partners or working groups as required to focus in on specific actions/themes in more detail

·        Steering group should also have an active role in building a relationship with the responsible Minister post-election.

The question of limiting access to the Forum to civil society members, as has been done in other areas, was raised.

·        The strong commitment of Scottish Government at present was acknowledged

·        We want to be open and operate openly - building trust between partners who are all working in the interest of the OGP was seen as central to this

o   It was agreed that the forum group would remain open to both government and civil society partners at present

o  It was agreed that we could always re-visit the idea of adding an additional civil society only space if members thought this would be helpful  - eg to organise a campaign or coalition to wield civil society’s ‘big stick’ when required

 

Actions / Next Steps:

·        If you are not already a member of the forum please join - http://forum.opengovernment.org.uk/groups/opengovscot

·        Start a strand on the forum to update members about progress towards the publication of the UK action plan

·        Start a strand on the forum to discuss and update what ‘pioneer’ status will mean in reality

·        Involve/SCVO to issue an open call for nominations to establish a Steering Group to the membership

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