GOJ launches Open Government Partnership

GOJ launches Open Government Partnership

Friday, January 15, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Government officially launched the Open Government Partnership (OGP) process today, making Jamaica the first English-speaking Caribbean country to participate in the initiative.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, the Open Government Partnership is a forum of countries working to be more open, accountable and responsive to citizens.

Speaking at the virtual launch of OGP Jamaica this morning, Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, acknowledged the role of this initiative in achieving the government's strategic objectives.

“Jamaica's policy development has embraced open government principles over a long period of time,” he said.

“Most recently, the launch of the Public Investment Map, passage of legislation to provide independence to the Central Bank and the tabling of legislation of an Independent Fiscal Commission are tangible presentations of this Government's commitment to principles of accountability and transparency in public administration. Our participation in the Open Government Partnership process enables us to showcase the tremendous strides that have been made,” he added.

According to Clarke, the country stands to gain and learn from the various innovative approaches to openness undertaken by other member countries.

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, which is the lead government entity, hosted several stakeholders from government ministries, departments and agencies, civil society groups, academia and private sector.

Clarke highlighted the importance of civic participation in the success of the OGP process.

“There is a groundswell of domestic support for the principles of transparency, openness, accountability and participation to be embodied in our governance framework and in our public institutions. Make no mistake, this is domestically driven. The OGP process simply allows us to leverage a multilateral architecture to achieve our national priorities, in full visibility of the international community, and through broad-based local participation and consultation,” the minister said.

“The Government of Jamaica welcomes the OGP multi-stakeholder consultative process which will allow for the development of an OGP National Action Plan with civil society partners,” he said.

The OGP process will be beneficial to the Jamaican citizens as it will provide:

Better access to information on the performance of government ministries and agencies and on matters of public interest;

Greater transparency on the allocation and expenditure of public resources;

Strengthened mechanisms to detect and address corruption in the administration of government and public bodies;

Greater opportunities for citizens to participate in the determination of government priorities and the monitoring of outcomes.

“The GOJ is committed to developing and submitting a National Action Plan (NAP) in August 2021, and monitoring its implementation through August 2023,” the statement read.

Prior to the NAP, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will be partnering with various civil society groups to plan and implement other communication activities including a multi-stakeholder forum, sensitisation sessions and webinars.

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