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Civil society calls for meeting fourth deadline on open government

By Our Correspondent
May 12, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Civil society organisations have jointly urged government to hasten the process of formulating National Action Plan (NAP) for Open Government Partnership (OGP).

After missing three deadlines in 2017, government has now fourth deadline of August 31, 2018 for formally presenting the NAP ending on June 30, 2020 to OGP. Outgoing government should fulfill its commitments about OGP because further delay may cause shame for Pakistan on international stage. The civil society discourse was aligned with the world celebrating Open Government Week (May 7-11, 2018).

An exclusive dialogue session for civil society organisations was organised by CPDI where a number of CSOs; members of multi-stakeholder forum were present. The forum consists of representative from provincial departments, federal ministries and civil society organisations. All the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK have also been given representation in the forum which was developed by Economic Affairs Division, where government and civil society could have co-created the NAP. CSOs remarked that our government eagerly joined OGP in 2016 but couldn’t do much on the path of cocreating NAP and held only one meeting of multi-stakeholder forum till date. CSOs jointly reflected upon the progress of Pakistan on the path of OGP for more inclusive and democratic future.

While commenting on the progress of Pakistan as member of OGP, Amer Ejaz Executive Director CPDI, said, “In Open Government Week (7-11, 2018); there is a global call to act to transform the way governments serve their citizens, over 90 governments in the world are celebrating OGW and many have reaped fruits of transparency in the shape of increased trust between state and public. Our government lacks political will to practically move on the path of OGP which should now stick to four key principles of the OGP including fiscal transparency, access to information, asset disclosures and citizen engagement.