Points of View 23rd February 2018

Know your network: Janine Rennie

by Paul Bradley

Member Profiles: Janine Rennie - Member since June 2017


Job title: Chief Executive

Org: Wellbeing Scotland

Location: Falkirk

Network Member since: June 2017

Contact me at: [email protected] 

How would you describe your job to a child?

Being in charge of quite a big charity with lots of different jobs and looking after people who have been harmed.

What does the concept of open government mean to you?

Transparency and accountability but above all ethical standards and honesty.

What would your autobiography be called?

I have written it and it is called the Justice Tree

Why did you become involved in the Open Government Network?

I felt that transparency and openness was becoming more of a challenge. Working in the voluntary sector the Compact between Government and the sector does not exist anymore but when it did it was an excellent means of ensuring open, respectful communication.

Tell us one thing you’d like this Network to do in the next 6 months

To re-establish something like the Compact and to be very open about what needs to change as there are many aspects that I see in my paid and volunteer work.  I am particularly concerned that there seems to be limited ways to complain about bad practice in Local and National Government.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I work from home from 7 to 8.30 then head to work. I will have a plan for the day with tasks to be achieved and a couple of counselling sessions booked to see abuse survivors or call them. I will catch up with the management team to discuss all of our priorities to make sure we are not duplicating. By about 10 my plan will be held back by emails I have to deal with and calls (often distressed clients). I will work with the finance assistant on tasks for the week. I will usually have a tender or funding application to work on. I will speak to the lawyer re civil litigation claims for clients. I will work with our marketing company re an app we are developing. I will have calls form the managers and line management with them if scheduled. I receive around 200 emails a day so I delete the ones that are not important and file as many as I can flagging the rest. I will speak to our campaigners on long calls. In my spare time I am on the Community Council and a Reinstate Bonnybridge Railway Group as well as a social enterprise so I may carry out tasks for them in my lunch hour. I will deal  with training requests, recruitment and project reports. When I arrive home I will eat and then prepare for an evening skype meeting with a campaigning group. I may then work on a tender then bed around 1 am.

What breed of social media user are you?

The Deniers

What three things could members of this network get in contact with you about?

Campaigning, finance and politics

The link to the one website/blog/online community that you cannot live without, and nor should others:

The Unexpected Artist

Is there a particular area of open government that you’re interested in? Or, do you have a question you’d like network members to respond to?

The risks in the voluntary sector that consultations largely involve large organisations who rely on government funding to survive and smaller organisations do not have their voices heard. How do we know independent consultants are really independent?

Where do you see the open government movement in Scotland in three years?

It will be the way to raise concerns that are not addressed making people feel disenfranchised. It will be the voice for those who cannot speak out.

Biggest like:

Openness in email communication to all

Biggest Dislike: 

Involvement of civil servants at meetings