Scotland published its first Open Government National Action Plan since it has been selected by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as one of the fifteen “Pioneer” governments in April 2016.
Pioneers are “sub-national” governments in the world selected to experiment new ways of interacting with citizens and implement open government principles.
“This Scottish Plan sets out how we will use the opportunity of being Pioneers to improve the lives of people living in Scotland, to learn from others and to share our experience of Open Government”, the text of the plan states. This action plan is the result of a joint development with the Scottish government and the Scottish Civil Society Network. The Think-tank “Common Weal” contributed at drafting the plan and published in November a report (freely accessible).
Citizen participation and transparency
Scotland’s action plan contains five commitments:
- Financial transparency. It aims at “clearly explaining how public finances works”.. This commitment is made of four measures including one dedicated to an open contracting strategy.
- Measuring Scotland’s progress. Scotland wants to “develop a robust framework which enables Scotland's progress towards the SDGs to be measured in an effective and transparent way”, the document mentioned.
- Deliver a fairer Scotland. Actions developed with civil society will be implemented in the 50 actions of the “Fairer Scotland” national plan.
- Participatory budget. The objective is to “have at least 1% of Scotland’s 32 Authority budgets subject to community choices budgeting”.
- Increasing participation. The goal is to increase citizens’ participation in local political life and in the creation of legislations and to insure “the people who use public services are involved in designing them”.
“This Scottish Plan recognises that and reflects our priorities. It builds both on the Open Government reforms that are already underway in Scotland and on collaborative work with the governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK, and their civil society networks, to develop a shared approach to Open Government”.