The concepts and principles of open government are profound in terms of their implications and execution, and are fundamental to Australia’s conception of good government, argues Chris Eccles, Secretary of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.
There is a growing global consensus about the importance of open government and a lot is happening in its name.
The definition offered by the World Justice Project is a good starting point. They suggest that ‘open government’ is:
“government that shares information, empowers people with tools to hold the government accountable, and fosters citizen participation in public policy deliberations”.
And, as a statement of why open government is generally said to be important, it is hard to better US President Barack Obama’s concision:
“Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government”.
There is no doubt that these ideas, and their associated practices, are widespread globally, albeit primarily in the developed world.