Open letter to Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D.

This Open Letter was also published  as a post on the Open Government Partnership Blog. In May of this year Ireland has committed to the Open Government Partnership and now needs to deliver the country Action Plan that will allow it to formally join the OGP in April 2014. The Open Letter requesting a meeting with Minister Brendan Howlin T.D. was issued to give Irish citizens access and involvement in the generation of said action plan.


Representatives of Irish Civil Society who have engaged in the Open Government Partnership (OGP)  process have written this open letter to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D. We are seeking a meeting with him to clarify the future of the OGP process in Ireland. The letter is signed by 38 members of Irish civil society.

In the context of OGP, Civil Society needs productive meetings that can lead to useful outcomes and clarity of communication between the partners is vital for a constructive outcome.  We are seeking clear information as to the Government’s intentions for the OGP process, with the following in mind:

  • An important part of Ireland’s ambition to formally join the OGP is to open up the process for civil society participation.

  • Our goal is to open up policy making to the wider public, to raise awareness and allow civil society to influence and take part in generating a plan for Ireland’s participation in the OGP.

  • We are offering the government our input, expertise and participation and we see this as an opportunity to co-determine the success of open government practices here in Ireland.

  • We have identified ways in which the Irish government, public agencies and industries can become more open, benefiting everybody in Ireland and we see this meeting with Minister Howlin as a means of sharing, collaborating, and voicing ideas, issues and concerns, in the spirit of partnership which OGP promotes.


5 thoughts on “Open letter to Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D.”

  1. We have receive acknowledgement that the letter was received at Mr. Howlin’s office, however to date the Open Data Ireland community is still waiting for Mr. Howlin to meet us and anyone from civil society who wants to contribute to and shape Ireland’s participation in the OGP.

  2. We had sent a similar letter to William Beausang (Head of Government Reform Unit and Civil Service HR Policy Division) and have met William on October 25th where the civil society group and citizens were asked to assist in drafting a process on how to prioritise the 62 proposals & 6 submissions developed by civil society groups for Ireland’s first National OGP Action Plan (See & We are currently under way to determine best ways to further prioritise proposals and make them actionable, measurable and achievable in a 2yr action plan. Follow the ongoing civil society discussions here:!forum/open-government-ireland

  3. William Beausang message follow-up to our meeting on Oct. 25th 2013:

    Dear all,

    Thank you for meeting with us on Friday and for your suggestions on how best to design the next phase of the OGP consultation leading to the preparation of the National Action Plan.

    We look forward to further engagement as we develop and refine our approach.

    As I mentioned at the meeting the Minister is attending the OGP Summit in London tomorrow and Thursday. You may have seen from the OGP website that all governments attending have been asked to announce an ambitious open government commitment to be included in their national action plans.

    I will send circulate a link to the Minister’s announcement when it issues.

    Best wishes


    William Beausang
    Head of Government Reform Unit and Civil Service HR Policy Division
    Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

  4. Update: 11/11/2013

    Unfortunately soon after that Department of Public Expenditure and Reform announce last minute changes to the proposed FOI Bill 2013. Adding additional charges, raising barriers for citizens and professional bodies to access information on public policy freely despite recommendations from the OGP consultation process, OECD, GRECO to abolish up front fees for freedom of information requests.

    Read more at: &

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