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The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD has issued a letter of intent to the co-chairs of the Open Government Partnership confirming Ireland’s intention to join the OGP. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative currently comprising almost 60 countries in the developed and developing world that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The OGP is overseen by a multi‐stakeholder International Steering Committee comprising Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the UnitedStates, as well as civil society representatives.  The Open Government Partnership (OGP) was launched in September 2011 by President Obama on the margins of the 66th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

To become a member of OGP, participating countries must: embrace a high-level Open Government Declaration; deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation; and commit to independent reporting on their progress.

Ireland has been deemed eligible to participate in the OGP. Membership has been recommended in the recent Transparency International Country Study Addendum on Ireland’s National Integrity Systems.

OGP participation will also provide an opportunity to promote Open Data policies by public bodies.