The official handing over of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Civil Society (CSO) National Action Plan (NAP) on 12th August to the Sri Lankan government was announced at a press brief on the 29th August by the CSO Steering Committee (see link below for full National Action Plan document).
The Open Government Partnership provides Sri Lanka with the opportunity to systematically lay down a government agenda for a two year period, with government deliverables and dates provided as milestones within the plan. This method allows for government to be tracked and held accountable in a manner similar to the 100-day programme. The commitments range from focussed areas such as Health and Education reform to Right to Information implementation.
The press briefing commenced with Ms. Pushpi Weerakoon (OGP CSO Coordinator, TISL) announcing the official handing over of the document to her government counterpart Mr Harim Peiris (OGP Government Focal Point, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and then providing a description of the process involved in the island wide consultation and the CSO/line ministry collaborated drafting process.
Following this introduction, steering committee members Aaranya Rajasinham (Executive Director – Viluthu), Sriyanie Wijesundara (Senior Researcher – CPA), Chaminda Rajakaruna (CEO – Sarvodaya), Asoka Obeyesekere (Executive Director – TISL), Shyamala Gomez (Executive Director – Fokus), Mihiri Gunawardena (Director – PILF) and Nirmi Vitarana (Researcher – ICES) explained the importance of the respective commitments drafted by their organisations.
The steering committee stressed the need for the government to now take ownership of the National Action Plan and to approve it in at least its current form and if any alterations were to be made, for the reasoning to be provided. Reference was also made to the need to allocate funds for the 2017 budget cycle for the activities within the National Action Plan. The government has until 31 October 2016 to fulfil its international obligation of formerly passing its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.