News 25th May 2018

Let’s make Scotland work for you! Have your say on Scotland’s Open Government Action Plan

by Paul Bradley

Do you want to help transform government?

Imagine a country where citizens and governments come together to solve the most pressing challenges we face; where the decision making process is transparent and accountable, and where you have a real say in the policies and services that shape your life.

Whether you would like more opportunities to be involved in public service decision making; to see more information or data released in areassuch as transport or education; or want more information on how public money is spent, open government is for you!

What is open government?

Governments use public money to shape the society we live in. The decisions they take impact on the day to day quality of life that we enjoy. Open governments do not just allow us to see what decisions are made, they allow us to take part in shaping them and provide us with the information we need to examine and challenge their choices.

An open government is one that shares information, empowers people to hold their actions to account and supports people to take part in the decisions over public policies and services that affect them.

A good example is participatory budgeting (a way for people to make decisions on how public money is spent), which was one of Scotland’s first commitments to Open Government. It has been hugely successful in both uptake and impact, being widely implemented all across Scotland, with thousands of people taking part and having their say on how public money should be spent. This progress on participatory budgeting demonstrates the impact it has had on opening up public budgets and encouraging public participation in decision making.

Have your say!

Do you have an idea for how government could be done differently in Scotland? Perhaps more participatory budgeting, more information on public finances or greater understanding of how policy decisions are made? If so, we need your help to make open government the new normal in Scotland.

What’s in store?

In June and July 2018 the Scottish Government and Open Government Network will be inviting the public and civil society organisations to share their ideas that can help make government in Scotland work better for its people.

There are a number of ways to get involved.

Online: From Tuesday 29th May, you will be able to submit your own ideas online and browse the ideas that people are discussing.

Events: Join us at locations across Scotland for a series of events where you can tell us in person your ideas for change. Find out more and register.

Help us spread the word: We need your help to get the message out about our plans to develop Scotland’s next Open Government Action Plan. Can you share via your newsletters, repost this blog on your website or pass on our leaflet to your networks and peers?

What happens with your input?

Once the crowdsourcing of ideas has finished the team will analyse all the input ahead of a meeting of the OGP Steering Group, which consists of eight network members and eight government officials.

The OGP Steering Group will use your input to develop between three and five commitments that will make up Scotland’s second Open Government Action Plan, which must be ready by the end of July 2018.

Behind the scenes – the process

Since the turn of the year work has been underway to develop improved processes and a project plan ahead of creating Scotland’s 2018/20 open government action plan. We’re now all set to press ahead.

You can find out more about the planning process and Scotland’s OGP Steering Group here.