News 15th August 2018

Margot James MP responds to OGN Steering Group letter about ministerial engagement on open government

by Andreas Pavlou

Margot James MP, the minister responsible for open government, has written to the Open Government Network, following a letter sent to Matt Hancock MP, the then Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on 9 July 2018 by the OGN Steering Committee, expressing serious concern over the lack of ministerial engagement with the current open government action plan.

You can read a copy of the letter below.

15 August 2018

Our Ref: MC2018/11334/SAS

Members of the Open Government Network
C/O Andreas Pavlou

Dear members of the Open Government Network,

Thank you for your correspondence of 9 July to the then Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, in which you lay out your concerns regarding the development of the UK’s fourth National Action Plan (NAP). I am replying as the minister responsible for this policy area.

The UK government is committed to pursuing ambitious Open Government reform, and I am determined that the UK’s next NAP will reflect this. Opening up government is a powerful way of building trust and bringing people together, both nationally and locally. It helps build strong communities, drives economic growth, and improves government efficiency and service delivery. It is also a valuable platform through which to promote transparency standards and open up governments across the globe.

We will soon be publishing the consultation draft of the UK’s fourth NAP. The draft commitments, which government officials and civil society leaders have worked together to cocreate, represent further progress in the pursuit of open government reform and a continuation of the important steps we have made through previous NAPs.

The value of the Open Government Partnership co-creation process is that through robust and open dialogue we can ensure the plan is as strong as possible. I see the consultation as a vitally important stage in this development process, during which it is right that civil society continually hold us to account and push for more ambition.

My officials and I deeply value the close and collaborative relationship that has existed between the government and the Open Government Network over the years, and I look forward to meeting members of the Steering Committee in September and working together with you to ensure the NAP helps us to maintain the UK’s position as a global leader on open government.

Margot James MP

Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries