Jess Blair outlines a new opportunity for civil society to have its say on how government works in Wales
Devolution has given Wales the chance to start from scratch with a new layer of government that was intended to bring decisions closer to the people they affect.
Yet, nearly twenty years on, has it done that?
If we look at our political system it is one with minimal levels of engagement. The 45% turnout in the 2016 Assembly elections was hailed as relatively successful, you might be hard pushed to find someone walking down a local high street who could name more than one or two members of the Welsh cabinet and knowledge of what is devolved to Wales isn’t exactly universal.
Our democracy isn’t where it should be, but we do have a chance to make this better.
Open Government is a global initiative that works around three key themes; accountability, transparency and participation. As part of this each government involved produces an Open Government Action Plan every two years outlining the measures they want to take in these areas. The Welsh Government is currently putting together their 2018-2020 Action Plan and it is vital that we have a say in this.
Over the next few weeks we want to bring civil society together to generate ideas and recommendations that we can put to Welsh Government for them to consider as part of their Action Plan. Today we’ve launched a platform where you can put forward your ideas. Just add them here: https://www.discuto.io/en/consultation/32946
This is a genuine chance for your idea – big or small – of how government can be more open to become part of Welsh Government policy.
In other parts of the world Open Government has led on transformational change. From a platform that opened up all information about healthcare in Uruguay to Mongolia where people can now rate public services, to a €100m budget in Madrid which locals themselves decide how to use, Open Government has been a game changer across the world.
It’s now Wales’ chance to do something great with this and get our government working better for all of us.
This is our opportunity and we should seize it.
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