December 4, 2015

Response to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s consultation on the Mid-Term Self-Assessment Report on Ireland’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2014-2016

This response has been prepared by The Centre for Cross Border Studies as a contribution to the consultation on the Mid-term Self-Assessment Report on Ireland’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2014-2016 produced by the Department of Public  Expenditure and Reform.

The Centre for Cross Border Studies must record its disappointment at the insufficient period determined by the responsible Department for the consultation process on the NAP Mid-term Self-Assessment Report. This directly contradicts the Draft Consultation Principles/Guidance also published by the Department for consultation, which state that “Consultations should take place over a reasonable period of time, so that participants have sufficient time to submit their views”, and that “Sufficient time should be allowed for all relevant stakeholders to become informed, examine the issues, debate/dialogue/consult within their organizations, and develop a response”.

Given both the intrinsic importance of the Mid-term Self-Assessment Report and its accompanying 83-page Appendix, as well as the overriding importance of securing the widest possible citizen engagement with OGP and Ireland’s NAP, the curtailed period for this consultation will seriously undermine the ability of interested parties to prepare sufficiently informed responses. This will be particularly the case for those who may not already be familiar with OGP or Ireland’s NAP, but may have wished to become involved in the process. CCBS therefore strongly recommends that  sufficient time is allowed for citizens to prepare informed responses to consultations such as this one, and that proper planning ensures that this takes place in relation to all elements of the consultation process in regards to OGP and the NAP.

Click here to access the full CCBS response.