Meeting notes 25th March 2015

Opening Up Government: Newcastle Workshop | 18 March 2015 | Meeting note

by Josephine Suherman-Bailey

Josephine was a Policy Analyst at Involve. She worked on the Open Government Partnership and supported the coordination of the UK Open Government Partnership civil society network.

The UK Civil Society Open Government Network is working with civil society organisations across the UK to deliver a series of workshops to discuss and develop commitments for the next National Action Plan, and build the community of transparency, participation and accountability reformers in the UK. For more details on this workshop series and where we’re holding them, click here.


Central Square, Forth Street, NE1 3PJ Newcastle upon Tyne
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 from 14:00 to 16:00


  1. Discuss and develop ideas for open government reforms in Newcastle, the North East and throughout the UK
  2. Build the community of transparency, participation and accountability reformers in the UK
  3. Share the work of the Open Government Partnership and UK Open Government Civil Society Network

What would a good open government reform look like? Reviewing existing open government ideas

Attendees were asked to look at the current commitments in the Open Government Manifesto and rank them in priority order.

Priority Level



Meaningful engagement when consulting with stakeholders (attendees amended to “Meaningful participation when consulting with people” to better reflect their priorities)


Co-production of public services

Bring contractors under the FOI Act


Support the development of an open local government partnership
Launch a “Transparency of Surveillance” Programme
Data Sharing Disclosure Standard


A robust register of lobbyists
Ensure the Integrity, Usability and Sustainability of Government Information for Openness
Data for Open Government
Open data modelling for strategic policy areas


Transparency in government contracting
Independent support for local government scrutiny
Give the Public a say in the future of our UK
Implement the recommendations of the Digital Democracy Commission

What open government reforms would you introduce?

Attendees were asked to develop their own ideas for open government reforms they would like to see introduced. These commitments will be added to the Open Government Manifesto.

Meaningful participation when consulting with people

Attendees chose to extend the existing manifesto commitment Meaningful engagement when consulting with stakeholders. They added:

  • Focus on capacity building – create a range of options
  • Centre of Excellence
  • Skills and resources for civil society and government