Cape Coast, Oct. 31, GNA - A public consultation forum aimed at developing a National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative has been held at Cape Coast.
The forum, organized by the Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS), is the final to be held across the country and was attended by 30 participants from the Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions made up of Assembly members, Non-Governmental Organizations, other public officials as well as the media.
The OGP is a new voluntary, international multi- stakeholder initiative that is aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to their citizenry to promote transparency, empower citizens, as well as fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
It is also aimed at improving the work of the public services, increase public integrity, manage public resources effectively, create safer communities as well as increase corporate accountability.
Mr Alhassan Azong, Minister of State at the Presidency, in a speech read on his behalf, said Ghana signed onto the OGP initiative in September 2011 in New York and is expected to develop a National Action Plan for submission to the Global Secretariat of the OGP by December 2012.
He said it was for this reason that the Fora have been held in all ten regions in the country to solicit and collate views from the public to develop a National Action Plan and that the Fora would be followed by a national validation of the reports in Accra.
Mr Azong said even though Ghana has past and on-going government initiatives and actions that are aligned to the OGP’s values and principles, “these efforts need to be amply demonstrated, monitored and evaluated over a period of time”.
He said the Action Plan would be developed around four thematic areas which are fiscal transparency, citizen engagement, right to information bill and accountability as well as technology and innovation.
Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Central Regional Minister, said the forum was an important national assignment and that the decisions taken would have an impact on all saying everyone had to ensure its success.
Dr Kwesi Jonah, a consultant at the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEC), said the OGP was an on-going, open-ended and open-to-all process and that every citizen has a duty to contribute to it.