Clare Curran blogs:

Do you want to contribute to Labour’s policy on open and transparent government?

Following the public event on at the end of August a draft policy on open and transparent government is now available for comment.

If you would like to have a look at the draft policy it is now up on the wiki here.

You have until the beginning of October to comment on it. Your input and thoughts are welcome and important.

Labour will then have their conference in October, where their policy will be considered at a workshop, and hopefully work their way into the manifesto.

If you have a genuine desire to improve their policy, go to the wiki and suggest enhancements.

Some of the ideas which I hope make it into policy are:

  • Open Parliament to the OIA within limits
  • An OIA website with automatic release level
  • Publish agenda of Ministerial meetings along with papers
  • Public sector data and information should be seen as a “national resource” and be released free of charge as a matter of course with exceedingly rare exceptions
  • All research done by ministries and their advice to the minister should be put on the internet in an easily searchable database
  • All payments (and receipts) of Government should be available for scrutiny
  • Create policies and guidelines to allow public servants to use social media
  • That Parliamentary proceedings such as Select Committees be broadcast over the internet and television
  • To help engage citizens, let’s run a contest. Let’s get MAF (or Landcare or both) to release four datasets and we’ll run a contest for the best mashup using the data. “Best” means “has the most value for NZ citizens.” The winner must be a Kiwi, and wins one hour of face-time with the minister of MAF.

To some degree this is the easy part. The challenge will be getting the party to formally commit to doing some of these as part of their manifesto.

For me that is a win-win. If Labour wins, then at least they will have some policies I approve of. And if they adopt some of these policies, it may encourage National in that direction also.

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