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UK participates in workshop on National Action Plan to implement Open Government Partnership’

Islamabad: July 28, 2017. (PCP) DFID today helped to launch a workshop on developing Pakistan’s National Action Plan to implement the Open Government Partnership (OGP) with the Minister of Finance, Mr Ishaq Dar.

The OGP is a global initiative for securing concrete commitments from governments on transparency promotion, citizen empowerment, anti-corruption and using new technologies to strengthen governance. The UK is one of the founding members of the OGP. Speaking at the workshop, the Minister said that the OGP provides a mechanism for good governance and accountability, and the workshop will help the parties decide future strategies.

The Head of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Pakistan, Joanna Reid, said at the workshop said, “The OGP is a mechanism for Pakistan to use to meet wider objectives, including an improved business environment, greater fiscal transparency, and enhanced citizen engagement. The Government has already made good progress in a number of areas - for example the introduction of robust provincial “right to information” laws and steady progress on key indicators such as the Open Budget Index. We must also ensure that the commitments in the National Action Plan are inclusive for all people in Pakistan – women, youth, minorities and the disabled - and that no one is left behind in our endeavours to strengthen accountability and enhance open government in Pakistan. This is an exciting vision and I look forward to working alongside you as Pakistan begins to realise its new commitments on this important agenda.”

Mr. Joseph Powell, Deputy CEO of the OGP Secretariat, also participated in the workshop. He said: “Pakistan took an important first step when it joined the Open Government Partnership at our last global summit in Paris in December. Now the hard work begins. We hope government and civil society will work together to co-create and implement open governance reforms that could have a transformative impact for the people of Pakistan.”

The Finance Minister, Mr. Ishaq Dar, handed over Pakistan’s Letter of Intent to join the OGP on an invitation from the UK and French government’s during the fourth biennial OGP Global Summit in December 2016. Developing a national action plan in consultation with civil society and the private sector was an important requirement for the OGP.

The National Action Plan pledged by the federal and the provincial government of Pakistan is based on eight thematic areas. These are Fiscal Transparency, Access to Information, Public Officials Asset Disclosure, Citizen Engagement/Civil Liberties, Use of Digital, Access to Justice, Strengthening Accountability and Improving Business Environment. Eight lead Ministries/ Divisions have been identified representing their respective thematic areas. Focal persons have also been identified in each of the provinces.

Islamabad-based diplomats, other international development partners, Federal Ministries/ Divisions, Provincial Government representatives, members of civil society, trade bodies, academia and various other stakeholders attended today’s workshop. After the workshop, a final draft National Action Plan(NAP) which will set out commitments for reform will be submitted to the Cabinet and then to the OGP Secretariat as per their requirement.