Terms of Reference for New Zealand Open Government Partnership Stakeholder Advisory Group April 2015
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a forum of countries working to make their governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens. Established in 2011, the forum today comprises 65 nations all committed to increasing the availability of information about governmental activities, supporting civic participation in government decision-making and policy formulation, implementing the highest standards of professional integrity throughout government, and increasing access to new technologies for openness and accountability.
Countries are required to develop an Action Plan every two years that sets out commitments which address a minimum of two of the following five "grand challenges" identified by the OGP:
- Improving public services.
- Increasing public integrity.
- More effectively managing public resources.
- Creating safer communities.
- Increasing corporate accountability.
Action Plan commitments must also reflect the OGP's four core open government principles:
- Citizen Participation.
- Technology and Innovation.
New Zealand joined the forum in 2014. To meet our OGP commitments we have published an Action Plan spanning July 2014 – June 2016. Our Action Plan focuses on the following initiatives:
- Better Public Services Results programme.
- Result 10 of the Better Public Services Results programme: New Zealanders can complete their transactions with government easily in a digital environment.
- Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017.
- Action 13 of the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan: open by default – active re-use of information assets.
- The 2013 National Integrity System Assessment report produced by Transparency International New Zealand.
- Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord.
The Government's Action Plan will address three of the five OGP 'grand challenges' which are:
- Improving public services
- Increasing public integrity, and
- More effectively manage public resources.
The Government, as a signatory of the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord (see Appendix C), is committed to championing its principles and intent. To demonstrate the Government's commitment to putting the principles of the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord and the OGP into practice, the State Services Commission will create a Stakeholder Advisory Group which, in partnership with the government, will assist New Zealand meet its OGP Action Plan commitments. The Action Plan aims to see stakeholders involved in the decision making from the outset, and will be a living document developed and enhanced over time in collaboration with our stakeholders.
The Mandate and Objectives of the Stakeholder Advisory Group
The Stakeholder Advisory Group will assist with development, implementation and evaluation of the commitments in New Zealand's Action Plans by providing constructive advice, communicating openly and involving other stakeholders.
The objectives of the Group will be achieved by:
- Providing timely advice on evaluation of progress with New Zealand's OGP activities to inform the mid-term and end-of-term self-assessment reports to the OGP.
- Providing advice to agencies on implementing the Action Plan commitments in the context of OGP grand challenges and principles.
- Developing a plan for engagement with stakeholders, including the public and public authorities, to raise awareness of, and promote, the Open Government Partnership, New Zealand's commitments, and how the values and principles of the Partnership can help improve public services, increase public integrity and more effectively manage public resources.
- Developing an outcomes model that could be used to inform future Action Plans.
- Considering the feedback received from stakeholders during the consultation process that occurred in early 2014 while the Action Plan was being developed, and any other stakeholder comments received (for example through online fora, meetings, workshops and SSC's OGP mailbox) and how these could inform updates to the current Action Plan and/or future Action Plans.
- Considering the feedback received from the OGP Support Unit and OGP Working Groups received after their review in August 2014 and how these could inform updates to the current Action Plan and/or future Action Plans.
- Considering the draft and final IRM reports and any implications for the next Action Plan.
- Providing advice by March 2016 on a fair and open way of renewing the membership of the Stakeholder Advisory Group.
- Providing a report to the State Services Commissioner by March 2016 on progress with the tasks assigned to the Group, including suggestions for any revisions to the Group's Terms of Reference.
- Undertaking such other tasks as may be agreed by the State Services Commissioner and the Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Membership and Protocols of the Stakeholder Advisory Group
The members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group will be appointed by the State Services Commissioner, following a public call for expressions of interest. The term of appointment will be until 30 June 2016. The State Services Commissioner will consider the makeup and renewal of the Stakeholder Advisory Group following any advice he may receive from the Stakeholder Advisory Group (including the March 2016 progress report) and SSC officials.
The Group will comprise six paid members representing a range of sectors of society including:
- Civil society / community and voluntary sector
The State Services Commission will invite participation from a representative from local government. The Group will also have one member from the State Services Commission, and a senior official from a central government agency not currently leading an Action Plan commitment.
The Privacy Commissioner, the Controller and Auditor General, and the Chief Ombudsman will be invited to participate as observers.
The following criteria will be used to consider candidates for the Stakeholder Advisory Group:
- Their capability of representing a sector and understanding how this fits into the Group's partnership role with the Government.
- Diversity, and insight into how open government affects participation and public services from a broad range of backgrounds.
- An understanding of the Open Government Partnership and what New Zealand's membership entails.
- An understanding of programme design, delivery and evaluation.
- An understanding of public engagement and how it can be used effectively to develop and improve policy design, delivery and evaluation.
- The ability to provide objective advice beyond their own involvement, experience or representation.
- The capacity to identify, develop and bring the skills the Group needs to meet the Government's objectives.
- Availability and ability to commit to the work of the Group.
Fees for members of the Group have been assessed in accordance with Cabinet Office Circular (12)6. The Stakeholder Advisory Group falls within Group 4 ('All other committees and other bodies'), and has been scored at 13 (Level 4).
Members will be reimbursed for actual and reasonable travel, meal and accommodation costs.
The State Services Commissioner will appoint the chairperson of the Group. The chairperson will be a member of civil society, in order to align with OGP objectives.
The Group may elect a deputy chair to support the chair role at the first meeting.
The Group will, if agreed with the Secretariat, be able to create working groups to develop the products sought from it, providing that the full Stakeholder Advisory Group approves the products before they are supplied to the Government.
Secretariat services for the Stakeholder Advisory Group (and any working groups) will be provided by the State Services Commission.
The Stakeholder Advisory Group will be accountable to the State Services Commissioner and will jointly review its activity with the State Services Commission on an annual basis.
The Terms of Reference, agenda, minutes and all papers of the Stakeholder Advisory Group (and any working groups) will be published on the State Services Commission's website.
The agenda and papers for Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings will be published five working days in advance of each meeting of the Group, to enable public participation. The draft minutes of Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings will be circulated to Group members no later than five working days after the meeting, and published on the SSC website two weeks after the meeting.
The Official Information Act 1982 will apply to the activities of the Stakeholder Advisory Group. The Chair will be responsible for ensuring that members are aware of the provisions of the Act, and will liaise with the Secretariat on responding to any requests for information that may be received.
All media statements on behalf of the Group will be made by the Chair. The person appointed to chair the SAG will be required to delineate clearly in any media statements when they are speaking on behalf of the whole SAG, and when s/he is speaking only for the non-governmental members of the SAG.
Members of the public will be able to provide comment and/or raise queries to the Stakeholder Advisory Group through the State Services Commission's NZOGP mailbox: NZOGP_ActionPlan@ssc.govt.nz. The Secretariat will manage this account and provide feedback received to the Stakeholder Advisory Group
Meetings of the Stakeholder Advisory Group will be held in Wellington. There will be up to seven meetings per year.
Meetings of the Group will have a quorum of five. Members will be expected to make an effective contribution. This is involves attending 90% of Group meetings and participating in meetings with an open mind and in an open and constructive manner. The Group will aim to achieve a consensus on the issues it considers, but is not required to do so.
The Secretariat will work with the Chair of the Group to prepare meeting agendas.
The Secretariat will ensure that the agenda and papers for meetings of the Group will be circulated to Group members six working days in advance of each meeting, and that draft minutes will be circulated to Group members no later than five working days after each meeting.
The Secretariat has a budget to operate the Stakeholder Advisory Group, including travel costs. The Stakeholder Advisory Group and its members will not have an independent budget.
The Secretariat will induct the Chair into that role and likely work and role of the Group. The Chair of the Group will oversee the Secretariat's induction programme for members. This should include:
- the role of the Stakeholder Advisory Group in New Zealand's OGP work
- which Government agencies are leading Action Plan commitments
- the protocols for the functioning of the Group
- the proposed work plan of the Group, and
- disclosing interests and managing any conflicts.
Key internal and external relationships
As the Government's partner in implementing, evaluating and developing the Action Plans, the key relationship is with the Government through the State Services Commission.
There are also other relationships that the Stakeholder Advisory Group will have. These include:
- agencies leading Action Plan commitments;
- stakeholder groups or representative organisations around the country that are interested in current, or potential Action Plan commitments
- any stakeholder groups that lead agencies are already working with in relation to Action Plan commitments
- members of the New Zealand public, and
- international peers.
Appendix A: Role descriptions for the Chair, Deputy Chair and Advisory Group members
Roles and accountabilities
All Stakeholder Advisory Group members including the Chair and Deputy Chair
Non-members who will work with the Stakeholder Advisory Group
Appendix B: Code of Conduct
The objective of the Code is to enhance:
- Mutual trust, respect and tolerance between members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group and other key stakeholders and relationships
- The credibility and accountability of the Stakeholder Advisory Group within government
The following standards of behaviour are expected from members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Relationships with others
Members will conduct their dealings with each other, SSC officials and government stakeholders in good faith and in a manner that is consistent with the principles of the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord (see Appendix C).
Contact with the media
The Group is likely to input into a number of different initiatives and for consistency a single point of contact should be established to respond to any media enquiries.
- All media enquires shall be directed to the Chair
- If it is agreed a view is to be expressed by the group, only the Chair, or the Chair's proxy, can represent the work of the Group to the media.
- Views expressed to the media on behalf of the Group must represent positions agreed by the Group as a whole
- Any member contacted by the media for a view from the Group must refer the enquiry to the Chair
- Members are free to express a personal view or view of other organisations they represent, at any time. However, they must make clear that these represent their private views as an individual or the view of the organisation they represent.
Information provided to and relating to the Stakeholder Advisory Group is subject to the Official Information Act, the purposes of which include enabling effective public participation, promoting accountability and protecting official information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy.
Members have a duty to act fairly, impartially, responsibly and in a trustworthy manner; they must declare any private interests relating to their duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts of interest in such a way that protects the public interest. They must not act in order to gain financial benefits for themselves, their families, friends or business interests.
Any complaints about other group members should be addressed confidentially to the Chair or to the State Services Commissioner if they concern the Chair.
Appendix C: Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord
Kia Tūtahi Standing Together
The Relationship Accord between the Communities of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Government of New Zealand
Wawata - Vision
The communities of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Government of New Zealand working together for a fair, inclusive and flourishing society.
Kaupapa - Purpose
Communities and government are increasingly working together to navigate the cultural, social, environmental and economic challenges for our society. In this context, the Relationship Accord supports the building of strong relationships between communities and government, with benefits accessible to all, so that we can jointly achieve our vision.
Tūāpapa - Foundations
The work of communities and government together is integral to the fabric of our society. At the heart of our relationship, are the aspirations and wellbeing of whanau and individuals within our communities.
We, as communities and government:
- acknowledge the special relationship between the Crown and tangata whenua through Te Tiriti o Waitangi
- acknowledge our history and the past work achieved by communities and government to strengthen relationships
- respect and value the many cultures and diversity of the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand
- respect and value the contribution of tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector organisations; whether large or small, structured or informal
- respect and value the contributions of everyone who dedicates their time and energy voluntarily for the benefit of their communities
- recognise the role of government in setting policy and managing public resources and the importance of communities contributing to the development of policy.
Tikanga - Principles
We, as communities and government, agree to build our relationship on a set of principles that form the basis for committed actions.
We will respect Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- We recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the foundation document of Aotearoa New Zealand.
- We respect all commitments that parties make under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- We will weave Te Tiriti through the work we do.
We have a collective responsibility to hear and respond to the voices of all.
- We will reach out to those who are not usually included and respond to the diversity in our communities.
- We will take account of the people whose daily lives are affected by our work.
- We will work to enable communities to determine their own destinies for the betterment of all.
- We will increase opportunities for people to participate and flourish in their communities.
- We will champion the principles and intent of this Relationship Accord.
We will act in good faith.
- We will do what we say we will do and put in place ways of making this clear to everyone.
- We will work cooperatively to resolve issues arising between us.
- We will act in the spirit of generosity towards each other.
- We will share our knowledge, celebrate success and learn from our experiences.
Our work together will be built on trust and mutual respect.
- We will be honest and open.
- We will develop and promote effective communication.
- We will be responsive to each other's guidance and advice.
- We will respect the different roles and responsibilities we have.
Ngā Mahinga - Putting the principles into practice
The success of the Relationship Accord will depend on how we put the principles into practice. We start from a strong base of more than a decade of work to strengthen relationships between communities and government and deliver better results for the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.
We will commit to implementing this Relationship Accord to achieve the following outcomes.
- The principles of the Relationship Accord are widely understood and modelled through consistent good practice.
- Communities and government are in genuine and purposeful engagement on matters of mutual interest and importance.
- Productive relationships between communities and government lead to decisions that reflect mutual interests.
- Communities and government jointly resolve longstanding matters of concern, such as, participation in decision-making around policy and service delivery issues, and funding arrangements.
- Communities and government have the resources to support working together better.
- Communities and government jointly review progress and share learning.
We will draw on the skills and knowledge within communities and government to resolve any differences and put in place strategies to give effect to the principles in the Relationship Accord.
Signed by the communities of Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Government of New Zealand: