1. Introduction and Background

Action 1.1 – Establishment of best practice standards for Open Data

Action 1.2 – Establishment of Ireland’s Open Data Platform

Action 1.3 – Undertake an audit of key datasets for publication

Action 1.4 – Establish a roadmap for the Open Data and an evaluation framework to provide assessment of the ongoing Open Data

Action 1.5 – Establishment of an Open Data Ireland Governance Board (ODIGB) and Steering and Implementation Group (SIG) for Open Data Ireland

Action 1.6 – Signing up to the G8 Open Data Charter

Action 1.7 – Implementing Open Data

Action 1.8 – Improve computer literacy through implementation of proposed new Digital Strategy for Schools

Action 2.1 – Review national and international practice to develop revised principles / code for public engagement/consultation with citizens, civil society and others by public bodies.

Action 2.2.1 – Undertake public engagement early in the legislative process

Action 2.2.2 (A) and (B) – Build capacity of public bodies to provide Access to Information on the Environment under the Aarhus Convention

Action 2.3 – Hold referenda arising from the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention

Action 2.4.1 – Pilot approach to implementation of Public Participation Networks

Action 2.4.2 – Provide legal base for public participation framework in local government

Action 2.4.3 – Undertake a feasibility study on possible means of enabling further citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes

Action 2.5.1 – Develop, finalise and publish the first Government Strategy on children and young people’s participation in decision-making

Action 2.5.2 – Maximise participation and understanding of young people in civic life

Action 2.6 (a) – Customer improvements to be implemented for citizens through technology: : Development of ICT Strategy

Action 2.6 (b) – Customer improvements to be implemented for citizens through technology: Development and promotion of Data Sharing and Governance Bill

Action 2.6 (c) – Customer improvements to be implemented for citizens through technology: Public Services Card

Action 2.6 (d) – Customer improvements to be implemented for citizens through technology: Single Customer View

Action 2.6 (e) – Customer improvements to be implemented for citizens through technology: Local Government porta

Action 2.6 (f) – Customer improvements to be implemented for citizens through technology

Action 2.7.1 – A review of citizen complaints procedures will be undertaken.

Action 2.7.2 – Enhance customer engagement

Action 3.1 – Ethics Reform

Action 3.2 – Strengthening Freedom of Information – Implement the Code of Practice for Freedom of Information (FOI)

Action 3.3 – Reform of FOI

Action 3.4 – Regulation of Lobbying

Action 3.5 – Encourage, Protect and Raise Awareness of Whistleblower Duties and Protections

1. Introduction and Background
Ireland sought membership of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the belief that its aims would add further depth and provide an important international complement to our existing reform programme which aims at strengthening transparency and accountability of public institutions, providing improved and innovative public service and increasing citizen participation in policy-making.

The OGP’s broadly based structure, together with its international cross-linkages, allows our political representatives and members of civil-society to trade ideas, both with each other and across the globe, about the objectives and the implementation of the OGP. This broadly-based trading of ideas helps to challenge the “accepted ways and whys of doing things” and to shine a light on the things that we are doing well and on the areas that we need to improve on. Ensuring that we have an open, transparent, accountable and ethical system of public administration can enrich and enhance our efforts to rebuild trust between government and citizens, improve public services, and drive innovation and business growth. Rebuilding trust is a cornerstone for our national recovery and will underpin the basis for our sustainable long-term growth.

This self-assessment report looks at progress 12 months into the implementation of our two-year National Action Plan (NAP). The NAP seeks to build upon the existing reform foundations and to provide a framework for a new phase of reforms. Implementation of the Plan is well underway with substantial progress made on many actions. The development and finalisation of our NAP required the close participation of civil society, as detailed in section 2 below, and this participation and openness has helped contribute to the increase in confidence in Government.

The 26 commitments in our National Action Plan are relevant to the principles of the OGP – transparency, civic participation, public accountability and technology and innovation for openness and accountability. The commitments span the following three core areas:

  1. Open Data and Transparency – opening-up Government data for greater accountability, improving public services and achieving economic growth
  2. Fostering citizen participation/more active citizenship – Greater citizen consultation and involvement to strengthen democracy and improve public services
  3. Rebuilding public trust in Government – strengthening governance and accountability

All three of these core areas address the grand challenges of improving public services and increasing public integrity. In addition, the first two areas also address the grand challenge of more effectively managing public resources.