Scotland in the world spotlight as Obama discusses open government


Scotland has been designated a global leading light in the campaign for open and accessible governments, putting it among other pioneers including the city and provincial governments of Paris, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Ontario.

Now, as one of the 15 pioneer members of the Open Government Partnership’s inaugural International Sub-national Government Program, Scotland is on the world stage with its commitments to democracy, human rights and how it engages it’s citizens.

On Tuesday the news was announced as President Barak Obama led celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the Open Government Partnership, launched in 2011, with talks at the United Nations General Assembly on how the programme will continue to develop.

The Open Government Partnership was launched to provide an international platform for those committed to making governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.

Joe Fitzpatrick, Parliamentary Business Minister, said: “The First Minister has already committed us to being ‘an outward looking Government… more open and accessible to Scotland’s people than ever before’. This pioneer status puts us on the world stage and gives us the opportunity to really prove ourselves.”

The 70 countries of the Open Government Partnership, including the UK, have made over 2,250 commitments to make their governments more open and accountable.

The Scottish government is working in partnership with civil society to create an open government movement in Scotland.

Mr Fitzpatrick, said: “We are working with people from all walks of life to shape and create Scotland’s OGP [Open Government Partnership] agenda, increase awareness of the benefits of open government and the importance of increasing democracy and participation.”

During its pioneer year, Scotland will be able to work directly with the OGP, sharing learning with the other Pioneer Governments, as well as learning from the wider international OGP community.

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