To encourage the sharing of best practices and innovation and maintain high standards, all OGP countries will participate in working level sessions with other participating countries and the OGP Steering Committee during the commitment development phase of their action plan process.
All governments will publish a progress report approximately three months after the end of the 12-month OGP implementation cycle. As a complement to the self-assessment, an independent assessment report will be written by well-respected local governance experts from each OGP participating country. OGP has established the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) to assess implementation of all country commitments on an annual basis and encourage international and local civil society organizations to track and assess progress by participating governments.
All OGP countries can benefit from a Networking Mechanism—a technical assistance facility established to help participating governments identify and connect with one another (peer-to-peer) and other relevant expertise and service providers (NGO and private sector) as they develop their OGP commitments and action plans. Through this Mechanism, OGP has available a stable of private sector and non-profit entities that are ready and willing to share their ideas, technologies and platforms to engage citizens and improve government efficiency and responsiveness.
In order to participate in OGP, governments must exhibit a demonstrated commitment to open government in four key areas, as measured by objective indicators and validated by independent experts.
The timely publication of essential budget documents forms the basic building blocks of budget accountability and an open budget system.
Measurement: 2 points awarded for publication of each of two essential documents (Executive’s Budget Proposal and Audit Report) for open budgets, using the 2010 Open Budget Index, conducted by the International Budge Partnership, which covers 94 countries.
Access to Information
An access to information law that guarantees the public’s right to information and access to government data is essential to the spirit and practice of open government.
Measurement: 4 points awarded to countries with access to information laws in place, 3 points if a country has a constitutional provision guaranteeing access to information, and 1 point if a country has a draft access to information law under consideration, taken from a 2010 survey by Right2Info.org (a collaboration of the Open Society Institute Justice Initiative and AccessInfo Europe) that covers 197 countries.
Disclosures Related to Elected or Senior Officials
Rules that require public disclosure of income and assets for elected and senior public officials are essential to anti-corruption and open, accountable government.
Measurement: 4 points awarded to countries with a law requiring disclosures for politicians and senior public officials to the public, 3 points awarded to countries with either a law requiring disclosures for politicians OR senior public officials to the public, and 2 points awarded for a law requiring non-public disclosures for elected or senior officials, based on a 2009 World Bank-commissioned survey on disclosure by elected officials entitled “Disclosure by Politicians,” by Simeon Djankov, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer, which covers 175 countries, a 2009 World Bank study on income and asset disclosure by senior officials entitled “Income and asset disclosure in World Bank client countries,” by Ricard Messick, World Bank Senior Public Sector Specialist, which covers 149 countries and OECD Governance at a Glance 2009, covering 28 countries.
Open Government requires openness to citizen participation and engagement in policymaking and governance, including basic protections for civil liberties.
Measurement: Using the 2010 EIU Democracy Index’s Civil Liberties sub-indicator where 10 is the highest and 0 is the lowest score, 4 points for countries scoring above 7.5, 3 points for countries scoring above 5, 2 points for countries scoring above 2.5, and 0 points otherwise. The 2010 Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index covers 167 countries.
Countries can earn a total of 16 points for their performance against these minimum standards of open government. As the Open Budget Index covers only 94 countries, some countries are only measured on three criteria (and can earrn up to 12 points). In order to participate in OGP, countries must score at least 75% of the total possible points available to them (e.g. 12 out of 16, or 9 out of 12).
Because data is not available for all countries – and recognizing the fact that countries may improve their performance before data sources are updated – countries may submit a letter to the co-chairs at any time indicating their desire to join the OGP and providing documentation of their progress on the common commitments.
President Obama unveiled the U.S. National Action Plan in September 2011, as part of the United States' commitment as a founding member of the Open Government Partnership. The Administration committed to undertake twenty-six individual Open Government initiatives in its ambitious National Action Plan – initiatives designed to increase public integrity, promote public participation, manage public resources more effectively, and improve public services.
Several months later, the United States, working closely with civil society, has made important progress on many initiatives. For example, the White House successfully launched “We the People,” an online petition platform through which Americans make their voices heard on a range of issues. The United States has continued its leadership in the global effort against corruption by working closely with civil society and industry to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. And we have made great progress in our efforts to institutionalize government-wide reporting requirements on foreign aid, improve records management processes, expand public participation in the development of regulations, disclose information that consumers need to help them make informed decisions, work to build an Open Government Platform for countries around the world to use, and expand the number of Data.gov “communities” available to the public.