Six NGOs and civil society organisations have written to the Prime Minister (see pdf link below) expressing concern at Malta’s recent lack of engagement and commitment to its obligations as a member of Open Government Partnership (OGP).

They called for the establishment of a permanent multi-stakeholder forum for OGP, which is a minimum requirement for OGP participation.

The organisations noted that the government has already been notified by OGP, through an official letter, that the country is under procedural review by the organisation’s criteria and standards committee.

This is because it failed to submit a new OGP action plan in 2017 and because it failed to involve civil society in its 2018-2020 action plan.

The organisations said that, as far as they are informed, the government has not yet responded to the letter.

This signalled that the government does not seriously heed OGP’s values of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in policy-making, they said.

They asked which ministry is currently responsible for coordinating the government’s OGP activities and responsibilities and said that the fact that there is no evidence for civil society input or “influence” appeared to undermine OGP’s objective to empower citizens.

To fulfil these obligations effectively, the government should establish a permanent multi-stakeholder forum for OGP, which is a minimum requirement for OGP participation, they said.

“We urge you to use such a multi-stakeholder forum to engage with civil society more effectively, moving beyond basic consultation processes and tools such as public questionnaire. We would be very willing to assist or advise on this matter,” the organisation wrote.

The letter was signed by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, Aditus Foundation, SOS Malta, Integra Foundation, Kopin and Repubblika.

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