Today we are releasing two papers on Open Government, which is a concept based on the core belief that the public has the right to access the records and proceedings of government. Governments around the world are recognizing Open Government as an essential ingredient for democracy.
Open Government: Key Concepts and Benefits is intended as a starting point for institutions considering Open Government and highlights two critical goals: enhancing access to government-held information and public participation. It includes a discussion about making government-held information open by default and at little or no cost, and ways to enable a true two-way dialogue with the public.
Open Government: Key Implementation Considerations provides institutions with an overview of important factors to consider when implementing Open Government including the need for institutional leadership, commitment, governance and resources to support culture change and sustain the program over time, learning from others, engaging both internal and external users, and meeting legal requirements.
In our 2015 Annual Report, Commissioner Brian Beamish said that the IPC remains committed to the cause of Open Government in Ontario. Open Data and Open Information policies hold the promise of creating a more open and accountable government, as well as fueling the information economy by providing start-up companies and entrepreneurs with ready access to public data.
We have engaged with provincial and municipal institutions about Open Government and hope this constructive exchange continues in the coming years. We actively support institutions’ efforts to move toward greater accountability and transparency by reviewing and commenting on their proposals and materials.