Press Release shapes

Success of international Open Government Partnership initiative to be built upon through Second National Action Plan

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., today (Friday), published a Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative, which challenges governments to be more transparent, accountable and responsive to citizens.

The Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 responds to submissions received in response to an initial consultation document, Open Government Partnership Ireland: Have Your Say.

Initiating the consultation process on the draft Plan, Minister Donohoe said: ‘The Government appreciates the contributions that were made as part of the initial consultation process. All, including those that were critical, are equally valid. They come from a belief that we can improve how the state conducts its business. I would like to thank everyone who took part in the process to create this Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 for the depth of knowledge, experiences and ideas that they shared during the initial consultation’.

The commitments set out in the Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 move forward on many of the key themes that civil society highlighted in the context of Ireland’s first National Action Plan 2014-2016. The themes addressed in the draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 are:

  1.  Increased Citizen Engagement, to improve policies and services
  2.  Increased Transparency, to better understand government activities and decisions
  3.  Open Data, for transparency and innovation
  4.  Anti-Corruption and Strengthened Governance and Accountability, to ensure integrity in public life

A dedicated consultation portal allows for an open exchange of ideas on this Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018. Submissions on the Draft Plan can be made until 30 November 2016. A finalised National Action Plan 2016-2018 must be agreed by Government and submitted to the Open Government Partnership before the end of December 2016.

The Government will establish an Implementation Review Forum that will allow people to see how their contributions are reflected in implementing the commitments in the National Action Plan 2016-2018. The first Implementation Review Forum will take place in April 2017.

Ireland’s first National Action Plan 2014-2016 promoted citizen participation in policy-making, strengthened governance and accountability, and advanced the Government’s Open Data strategy. Its major achievements included legislation to regulate lobbying and to protect whistleblowers, and reform of the Freedom of Information and ethics regimes.

Minister Donohoe said: “The Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 aims to not only improve policy-making and the delivery of services, it also aims to further strengthen our systems of governance and accountability and prevent corruption.

“In line with the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 aims to help change the relationship between the Irish people, their parliament and their Government. I expect the Plan will have an impact on making budgets and spending more transparent, will improve accountability arrangements, will make public consultations more effective and will further promote Open Data policies by public bodies”.

The Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 extends commitments into new areas:

  1. Access to Justice (Commitment 3)
  2.  Transparency of Government Service Providers (Commitment 8)
  3.  Fiscal Transparency (Commitment 9)
  4.  Document Management (Commitment 10)
  5.  Governance standards for charities (Commitment 13)
  6.  Register of Beneficial Ownership (Commitment 15)

More information on Ireland’s membership of the Open Government Partnership and on this consultation exercise is available at


Notes to Editors
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative currently joined by some 70 countries in the developed and developing world. It aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The OGP was started on the margins of the UN general assembly in September 2011 with support from President Obama of the United States and other leaders. It is run by a steering committee composed of governments and civil society organisations.

Information on the OGP initiative is available on the Open Government Partnership’s website:

Information on Ireland and the OGP and more detail on this consultation process is available on a dedicated website:

Open Data is about providing machine readable data that is generated in the public sector openly, in free and reusable formats, so that it can be used to promote innovation and transparency. It can be used, for example, to understand, and therefore improve, our health services, our transport infrastructure and our air quality. For further information on the Open Data Initiative see:

There are 15 Commitments set out in the Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018, each with a number of verifiable milestones to fulfil them. These are summarised in the table below.

No. Commitment Summary of main ‘Verifiable milestones to deliver Commitment’
Citizen Engagement
1 Promote Transparent Climate Policy Development Hold National Dialogue on Climate Change
2 Support Public Participation Networks (PPN) Establish PPN Advisory Group
3 Improve Access to Justice Reduce cost of accessing justice. Scheme to replace ‘wards of court’ system. Reform regulation of legal profession.
4 Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making Establish a Consultation Portal. Establish Children and Young People’s Participation Hub
5 Enhance Customer Engagement Improve co-ordination of and reporting on existing initiatives and policies to improve customer service, especially for marginalised members of society.
6 Improve Access to Government Services through Technology Increase uptake of MyGovID and the Public Service Card. Create a Government Service Portal.
7 Participatory Budgeting Feasibility study on citizen engagement in local authority budgetary processes.
8 Improve Transparency of Government Service Providers Examine the introduction of standard transparency clauses for all large service contracts and grant agreements.
9 Enhance Fiscal Transparency Performance Budgeting Initiative
10 Introduce Modern Document Management Procedures Present a Public Service Records Management Plan to the Government for decision.
Open Data
11 Develop an Open Data Strategy 2017-2020 Develop and begin implementation of the Open Data Strategy 2017-2020.
12 Invest in Data Infrastructure that will result in better Open Data Projects to link data from key Government departments, Revenue and the Central Statistics Office. Data Sharing and Governance Bill
13 Develop a Code of Practice for the Governance of Charities Charities Regulator to develop code as a common point of reference for governance in the charities sector.
14 Strengthen Anti-Corruption Measures Public Sector Standards Bill. Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill. Judicial Council legislation.
15 Establish a Register of Beneficial Ownership Will implement Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive


Detailed information on the actions contained in Ireland’s first OGP National Action Plan, 2014-2016, and their impact is available in an Independent Review conducted on behalf of the Open Government Partnership: Independent Reporting Mechanism, Ireland: Progress Report