Meeting notes 27th March 2015

Reviewing the Open Government Network

by Tim Hughes

This Open Government Network has been going for about three years now. The 10th April will mark the third anniversary of the first open letter the network sent to Francis Maude on the Open Government Partnership. With Spring arrived and nine months until the UK’s next OGP Action Plan being due, now’s a good time to take stock.

Since the network was formed it has operated on a relatively informal basis. There have been no firm criteria for membership and the majority of decisions have been taken through finding consensus via the email list or meetings. Last year it was agreed that a steering group should be formed, but until now it’s role has been primarily to communicate with the Minister. Involve has coordinated the network for about two-and-a-half years, and has taken much of the initiative on proposing and undertaking activities on the behalf of the network.

While this approach has worked fairly well up to now, the time has come for it to be reviewed, particularly in light of the growth of the network and new sister networks being established in the devolved administrations.

After Easter we are going to be setting up a series of forum discussions on the governance of the network. These include the:

  • Purpose of the network
  • Membership of the network
  • Role & membership of the steering committee
  • Position of the network coordinator

If you would like to be part of these discussions, sign up to the UK Open Government Network email list here.