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Publication - Publication

Open Government Partnership Scottish Action Plan

Published: 9 Dec 2016
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
9781786526632

We developed Scotland's first open government action plan with the Scottish Civil Society Network using the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

30 page PDF

383.3kB

30 page PDF

383.3kB

Contents
Open Government Partnership Scottish Action Plan
4. Commitments

30 page PDF

383.3kB

4. Commitments

1. Financial transparency

Name and contact information of responsible department/team

John Nicholson - Financial Strategy Directorate

Aileen Wright - Financial Management Directorate

Scott Bell - Scottish Procurement and Commercial Directorate

Other involved actors

Government

UK Government (interaction between UK and Scottish Fiscal/Budget processes), Scottish Local Authorities, Scottish Colleges and Universities, and Scottish Government Public Bodies

Civil Society, Private Sector

Civil Society, Scottish Parliament, Private Sector, Academics

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed

The Scottish budget and fiscal environment is changing significantly as a result of the new powers being devolved to Scotland through the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts. As a result of the Scottish Government gaining significant tax and borrowing responsibilities, there is growing public and Parliamentary interest in tax policy and how it compares to other parts of the UK, in economic performance which influence tax revenues, in borrowing decisions, and in contractual and spending patterns all of which support public services in Scotland.

Main Objective

To clearly explain how public finances works and provide an accessible presentation of public financial flows into and out of the Scottish Government, including to local authorities, commercial and third sector organisations. We will develop, with partners, ways to provide financial, procurement and commercial information that is coherent, consistent and in a format that is useful and easy to understand for communities, the 3rd sector and citizens. This will include consideration of how national budget information could complement participatory budgeting at local and national levels.

Brief Description of Commitment

The Scottish Government will seek to improve the presentation and clarity of the financial, procurement and commercial information it publishes so that members of the public can understand it better.

Please describe the way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability

In delivering this commitment the Scottish Government will advance its commitment to all 4 OGP values of Transparency, Accountability, Participation and Technology & Innovation. The delivery of this commitment will result in the clarity, format and range of publically available information being enhanced, as well as implementing a refreshed set of modern scrutiny and accountability arrangements with the Scottish Parliament around Scottish public sector finances.

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment

New or on-going commitment

Start Date:

End Date:

1. The Scottish Government will undertake a review of the content and format of the information that it currently publishes on its websites, to allow us to then improve the clarity and coherence of the information that we publish (including providing data in more accessible formats).

New

Spring 2017

April 2018

2. A joint review group between the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament (including 8 external public/private sector experts) will be established to carry out a fundamental review of the Scottish Parliament's budget process following the devolution of further powers in the Scotland Act 2012 and Scotland Act 2016. By June 2017, the group will then bring forward proposals for a revised budget process for consideration by the Finance Committee and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution (implementation of the new process is expected to be for the 2018-19 budget - starting in summer 2017).

New

September 2016

June 2017 (some recommendations may take longer to implement)

3. The Scottish Government will consider what new financial reporting information it needs to develop and start publishing, both as a result of the devolution of new fiscal powers through the Scotland Act 2012 & 2016, but also to reflect a modern and open approach to public finances. The initial phase of this work (the review) will take place 2017-18 and then implementation of these changes will begin in financial year 2018-19.

New

Summer 2017

Spring 2019

4. The Scottish Government will develop an open contracting strategy to support the publication of procurement and commercial reporting information in a manner that is accessible to all, while taking advantage of developing data standards.

New

August 2016

December 2017

2. Measuring Scotland's progress

Name and contact information of responsible department/team

Roger Halliday - Chief Statistician

With Joanna Keating, Judith Ballantine, Anne-Marie Conlong, Duncan Isles, Gita Sharkey

Other involved actors

Government

SG International Development Team, National Performance Framework Team, Children's Rights and Participation team, Human Rights Team

Civil Society, Private Sector

Scottish Human Rights Commission, Scottish post- 2015 Working Group (comprised of Scottish NGOs, civil society, business, academia, DFID, UNICEF, UNITAR, CIFAL, Children and Young People's Commissioner, Together Scotland, Young Scot, Children's Parliament, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, Scottish Human Rights Commission. Public Bodies in Schedule 1 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed

The development of a robust framework which enables Scotland's progress towards the SDGs to be measured

Background:

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were formally agreed by the UN in September 2015. The Goals are an inter-governmentally agreed set of targets relating to international development. They are global, high level priorities. In July 2015, the First Minister announced Scotland's intention to sign up for the goals as well as our plans for measuring progress through the National Performance Framework ( NPF).

Introduced in 2007 and refreshed in 2011 and 2016, the National Performance Framework ( NPF) sets out a clear, unified vision for the kind of Scotland we want to see and how our actions will improve the quality of life for the people of Scotland. The 66 measures in the NPF provide a broad measure of national and societal wellbeing, incorporating a range of economic, social and environmental measures.

Scotland's commitments to Human Rights are set out in The Scottish National Action Plan ( SNAP) of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and in other places such as the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 which will deliver the UNCRC this commitment seeks to draw these commitments together so they can be used in conjunction with the NPF to measure Scotland's progress.

Main Objective

To develop a robust framework which enables Scotland's progress towards the SDGs to be measured in an effective and transparent way; ensuring that the commitments made under national and international treaties covering human rights are aligned with NPF.

Brief Description of Commitment

The development of a robust framework which enables Scotland's progress towards the SDGs to be measured.

Please describe the way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability

Given the nature and content of the SDGs, the NPF and SNAP, robust measurement of progress address all five of the OPG grand challenges. The NPF is a key tool by which the SG is held to both public and parliamentary scrutiny and accountability. Using these frameworks will ensure that the measure of Scotland's progress towards the SDGs is open and robust.

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment

New or on-going commitment

Start Date:

End Date:

1. A programme of public, civil society and stakeholder engagement on the development of a measurement framework

New

Winter 2016

Framework in place

Autumn 2017

3. Deliver a Fairer Scotland

Name and contact information of responsible department/team

Paul Tyrer - Head of Social Justice Strategy

Karen Armstrong - Policy Officer

Other involved actors

Government

A range of Scottish Government Teams have contributed to the development of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan - Social Justice Strategy Unit, Children and Families, Developing Young Workforce, Housing, Equality and Human Rights, Social Security. Social Justice Strategy have lead responsibility, however.

Civil Society, Private Sector

The following organisations have pledged their support:

Carnegie UK Trust
Dundee Fairness Partnership
Inclusion Scotland
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
LLoyds TSB Foundation Scotland
NHS Health Scotland
The Poverty Truth Commission
The Prince's Trust Scotland
Timewise & Working Families
Virgin Money
Working Families
Young Scot
YouthLink

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed

In October 2015, the Scottish Government launched a coherent, cohesive plan to bring about a fairer, more socially just country by 2030. Scotland faces a range of challenges related to poverty and inequality, and this plan sets out 50 actions to tackle these issues.

Brief Description of Commitment

To deliver the 50 actions in the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, with annual engagement with people and communities on progress. We will also agree 50 new areas for action with people and communities for the next parliamentary term.

Please describe the way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability

The initial driver for the Fairer Scotland conversation was the significant discussion about social justice running up to the independence referendum. The people of Scotland discussed openly and passionately the possibilities and the challenges for a more socially just and open society. These conversations were some of the most engaged of the entire Referendum period and both sides offered valuable insights into how Scotland should move forward.

The Fairer Scotland conversation was launched to build on the energy of these discussions. 7000 people took part in 200 public events across the country. Each conversation started with a simple question: what matters to you about fairness and social justice in Scotland? The threads of the conversation were woven together into an analytical report and, from there, into an action plan. Thus, while 'Fairer Scotland' began as a civic participation exercise, it has become a focused plan.

In terms of on-going monitoring, people and communities will be able to feed into an annual report on progress being made re delivery of the plan; the progress report will then be laid before the Scottish Parliament. These actions will help ensure public accountability.

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfill the commitment

New or ongoing commitment

Start Date:

End Date:

1. We will engage with people on progress on the action plan and produce an annual report detailing progress on each of the 50 actions, which will be submitted to the Scottish Parliament.

Note: Fairer Scotland Action Plan will be delivered by 2020.

New

Summer 2017

First report in October 2017

2. We will actively consult people on establishing 50 new actions for a Fairer Scotland. This will take place in the second half of this parliament via a citizens forum. This forum will involve many people and organisations who took part in the initial conversations.

New

Preliminary work in 2018

2019/20

4. Participatory Budgeting (also known as Community Choices in Scotland)

Name and contact information of responsible department/team

Kathleen Glazik - Community Empowerment Unit,

Public Bodies and Public Service Reform

Other involved actors

Government

Scottish Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Public Authorities

Civil Society, Private Sector

Community and Third Sector Organisations, Community Councils, Academics

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed

There is a consistent view that people in Scotland want to influence the decisions made by the public sector that affect them, but that at the same time they don't feel they have sufficient influence.

Empowering people and communities is at the heart of the Scottish Government's approach. The new Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 provides a legal framework to promote and encourage community empowerment and participations by creating new rights for communities and placing more duties on public bodies.

The Scottish Government's Community Choices Programme (commonly known as participatory budgeting) sits alongside the objectives of the Act and is an importance resource to build on the wider development of participatory democracy in Scotland. Community Choices is a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local needs. In May 2016 a manifesto commitment stated that local authorities would be set a target of having at least 1 per cent of their budget subject to Community Choices budgeting.

In September 2016 this was re-iterated in Scotland's 2016/17 Programme for Government which stated that the SG would continue to work with local government and communities on the delivery of this target.

Main Objective

To have at least 1% of Scotland's 32 Local Authority budgets subject to community choices budgeting.

Brief Description of Commitment

The Scottish Government will work in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA) to increase the scale and pace of community choices to support the involvement of people and communities in financial decision making processes.

Please describe the way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability

In delivering this commitment the Scottish Government will further advance OGP values as follows:

  • Access to information: Community Choices is designed to give citizens knowledge of public budgets in their area and enables communities to have direct decision making powers over the allocation of public funds in their community.
  • Public accountability and Civic participation: Community Choices can complement representative democracy and provides a mechanism that can increase levels of trust between residents, elected members and officers due to the transparency of the process.
  • Technology and Innovation for openness and accountability: Community Choices digital support can deliver more efficient and better quality initiatives working towards developing a digital engagement infrastructure to increase community empowerment and participation across Scotland.

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment

New or ongoing commitment

Start Date:

End Date:

The Scottish Government will:

1. Establish a Community Choices Group in partnership with COSLA to discuss a programme of work to take the 1% commitment forward and ensure the right infrastructure and skills are in place across a range of partners to deliver PB successfully and with impact in Scotland. This would include consideration of how community choices might be used to reduce social inequalities, foster innovation, and remove barriers to achieving wellbeing by encouraging the participation of marginalised individuals and under-represented communities.

New

January 2017

March 2021

2. Continue to fund a national support programme for local authorities to include on-going consultancy support, digital engagement tools and an evaluation programme, producing learning resources when necessary and continuing to develop and maintain the PB Scotland website as a hub for sharing practice and learning.

On-going

April 2015

March 2017

3. Work with stakeholders on a capacity building programme by developing a network of Community Choices practitioners in Scotland, to share learning and develop best practice which will lead to a new cohort of trainers in Scotland.

New

November 2016

March 2018

4. Support community organisations through the community choices fund to help implement and build on local initiatives either independently or in partnership with the local authority.

On-going

June 16

March 2018

5. Increasing participation

Name and contact information of responsible department/team

Doreen Grove, Open Government, Ingage, Local Government and Communities

Along with a number of delivery teams

Other involved actors

Government

Cat Macaulay, Head of User Research and Engagement, Digital Directorate, with a number of delivery teams across SG

Alasdair Mckinlay, Head of Community Empowerment

Civil Society, Private Sector

Broad range of Public Service Bodies, third sector, private sector and civil society orgs involved in the design and delivery of public services along with the OGP Civil Society Network

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed

Significant progress has been made towards developing a distinctive Scottish approach to involving stakeholders, empowering communities and citizens; including specific service users, to participate in the design of public services. But there is more to be done to deliver effective engagement that is consistent and inclusive and to deliver more local control.

Main Objective

Scottish Ministers and Scottish civil society want to see a step change in society and in how the Scottish Government does its work and to energise local democracy, to put people at the centre of the way public services work so that the people of Scotland are able to participate on a fair and equal basis in the design of Scotland's public services and policies. This commitment identifies 3 specific strands of work for Government, working with civil society, to improve participation.

Brief Description of Commitment

We will improve citizen participation by:

  • bringing local government functions closer to communities through the development of new legislation
  • ensuring the people who use public services are involved in designing them

building an Open Government movement in Scotland

Please describe the way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability

This commitment will be guided by the Scottish Government principles for democratic renewal and public service reform as detailed above.

We will engage widely on, and introduce legislation to bring local government functions, finance and democratic oversight closer to communities.

Commit to working with all those involved in designing digital public services to ensure that the methods and tools we use for engaging citizens and service users in service design promote Scottish Government and OGP values relating to ensuring diversity and inclusion in government through developing/adapting service design tools and methods, and publishing guidance and benchmarks.

Digital public services provide a key point of contact between citizens and the State as well as the means by which citizens can access open data and through which government can promote transparency and access. The ability to access public services digitally presents an enormous service design challenge to government, the public sector, and other actors involved in the delivery of public services.

To build an Open Government movement in Scotland we will work closely with civil society to develop a clear programme over 2017 which will seek the public's views of what an Open Government should be.

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment

New or on-going commitment

Start Date:

End Date:

Development of local democracy legislation NB final dates not yet agreed by Scottish Government Cabinet

1. Wide public engagement on developing and finalising policy proposals

New

May 2017

July 2017

2. Publication of analysis of stakeholder views

New

September 2017

September 2017

3. Introduction of Bill to parliament

New

2018

2019

Improved tools and techniques for citizen participation

1. A prototype model of a Scottish Approach to Service Design will be co-produced and used by 20 organisations involved in the design of public services.

On-going

April 2016

December 2017

2. People whose first or preferred language is BSL will be able to participate on a fair and equal basis in the design of Scotland's digital public services and policies.

On-going

October 2016

December 2020

3. Guidance on inclusive methods and tools for service design will be published in an accessible website as they emerge through the development of the Scottish Approach to Service Design and these joint actions.

New

December 2017

December 2020

Open Government Movement

1. Jointly develop a programme of engagement with civil society including a minimum of 6 events over the course of the Pioneer year.

New

January 2017

December 2017


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