Open Government

Fostering Dialogue with Civil Society

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Building open and transparent government is a challenge shared by all countries. Transparency and accountability in the public administration are enhanced by strong public scrutiny based on solid legal provisions for access to information. Investing in consultation and public participation allows governments to tap new sources of policy-relevant ideas, information and resources when making decisions. These efforts, in turn, contribute to building public trust in government, meeting the expectations of civil society, and strengthening civic capacity.

Building open government is not cost-free; nor is it without its risks. This book examines how to build robust legal, institutional and policy frameworks for access to information, consultation and public participation in policy-making. It focuses on lessons from experience from both OECD member and non-member countries in seeking to apply the principles of good governance in practice and to build effective partnerships between government, citizens and civil society organisations.

This publication presents the papers discussed during the "International Roundtable on Building Open Government in South East Europe: Information, Consultation and Public Participation" held in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 23-24 May 2002. The International Roundtable was organised by the OECD in collaboration with the Government of Slovenia, the World Bank Institute and the Open Society Institute. It gathered close to one hundred participants from 28 countries among both OECD member countries and those of South East Europe, with equal numbers of practitioners from government and from civil society.