Statement for the First Minister

A statement from the Open Government Scotland Civil Society Group as Humza Yousaf MSP becomes the leader of the SNP and the new First Minister of Scotland.

Update, 17 April 2023: You can read the response from Minister for Cabinet and Parliamentary Business George Adam MSP here.

Open government is a vital feature of Scotland’s democratic landscape, acting as a driver for openness, transparency, and citizen participation in how government works. 

Those supporting open government want everyone to have the opportunity to shape and oversee public services and policies, so that we can achieve better outcomes for all. It’s about ensuring access to information, opportunities to participate, and mechanisms to hold decision-makers to account – all while fostering a culture of trust and co-operation between government and civil society.

The Open Government Scotland Civil Society Group brings together active citizens and civil society organisations committed to making Scottish government work better for people through enhanced transparency, participation and accountability. We want to harness a movement of reformers inside and outside government who can make change happen, learn together and ensure open government is the way we do things in Scotland and beyond.

Scotland has been a pioneer in open government, joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2016 and developing national action plans that support real commitments to openness in decision making.

As the new leader of your party, and our new First Minister, you have the opportunity to reaffirm and support the concept of open government in Scotland. You can do this by:

  • Supporting the implementation and monitoring of Scotland’s current OGP action plan (2021-2025) and engaging with civil society partners in its delivery
  • Championing open government initiatives as part of your programme for government, including the promotion of open data, participatory budgeting, open procurement and more.
  • Advocating for Scotland’s continued and enhanced participation in the OGP at the national and international level, sharing our achievements and learning from others.

By doing so, you will not only uphold your party’s values and vision, but also contribute to making Scotland a more open, democratic, and inclusive society. 

We look forward to working with you and your ministers to take forward this opportunity, and build on Scotland’s commitment to open government.

 The Open Government Scotland Civil Society Group