Open Government Partnership Steering Group: articles of governance

Governance structure and ways of working for the refreshed Open Government Partnership (OGP) multistakeholder forum, known as the OGP Steering Group.

This paper outlines the governance structure and ways of working for the refreshed OGP multistakeholder forum, known as the OGP Steering Group in Scotland. Following a consultation process with government and civil society the final structure and ways of working have been agreed with the Minister for Parliamentary Business and will be implemented for the period of the 2021 to 2025 National Action Plan.


  • the Steering Group will be co-chaired by a Minister or senior government representative, and a civil society representative
  • there will be equal civil society and government membership, with eight representatives from each. Quorum for decision making will be eight, with minimum of four from government and four from civil society
  • civil society representation will be determined by an open selection process through the OGP Civil Society Network
  • civil society will be able to make recommendations concerning the selection of policy area themes contained within the action plan regarding government representation on the Steering Group. This will ensure there is appropriate coverage from civil society. Government will take this into account when selecting representatives
  • members will have decision making authority from government/civil society network to ensure the Steering Group is sufficiently empowered to take action


  • Steering Group will meet minimum three times per year to agree and monitor implementation of the 2021to 2025 National Action Plan and to set the strategic direction of wider Open Government strategy in Scotland
  • the cycle of meetings will be agreed jointly with the civil society network including a minimum number and at least one open meeting with the civil society network each year. Meetings will be conducted in a hybrid format, with an online option available at all times
  • government to provide secretariat support to the Steering Group
  • the Steering Group agenda and papers will be co-developed and open, with papers and notes of meetings published on SG website
  • the Steering Group will supported by short life working groups, to be determined by the Steering Group
  • working groups will comprise equal numbers of government & civil society representatives where possible
  • each working group will be overseen by two members of the Steering Group (1 government, 1 civil society) working jointly to guide and support the work and report to the Steering Group
  • members of the Steering may also be members of working groups, but effort should be made to ensure opportunities for wider representation and input

Ways of working

  • the Steering Group will endeavour to reach consensus in all decisions, where this is not possible a vote will be taken. In the event of deadlock the Government co-chair will have the deciding vote
  • the Steering Group will provide recommendations on the content of the Scottish National Action Plan to the Scottish Government. The Scottish Cabinet will make the final decision and have ultimate ownership of the Scottish National Action Plan
  • the civil society selection process for the Steering Group will involve self-nomination followed by an open voting process for civil society network members. Individuals who are members of the network in their government capacity will not be entitled to take part in the process, including voting
  • civil Society Network will agree selection process for the Civil Society co-chair
  • the Steering Group will operate within equality principles and ensure that the OGP process is fair, open, transparent and in line with equality duties
  • the Scottish Government will reimburse actual expenses for Civil Society representatives on the steering and working groups in line with SG guidance
  • Scottish Government and civil society will endeavour to make all meetings accessible regardless of geographical or physical barriers, including where livestreaming might be used


Neisha Kirk (Secretariat):

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