Canada and Italy are among the three countries vying for seats in the Steering Committee (SC) elections coming up on October 1, 2020.The move by both countries came just as the call for national governments interested in joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee was declared open.
The process which will run through April 2020 will open the avenue for Canada and Italy to seek for re-election into government seats as SC members while South Africa which has served two consecutive terms will not be eligible to run for re-election as outlined in the OGP Articles of Governance.
OGP Articles of Governance also stipulate the criteria to run for a government seat on the Steering Committee to include: Improved Core Eligibility Scores since submitting a letter of intent to join OGP; Acting in accordance with OGP processes for the most recently completed Action Plan cycle (i.e. the country must not have acted Contrary to Process, as set out in Article II.B.4); payment of financial contribution to OGP, as set out in Article VI.B; and compliance with the minimum Participation and Co-creation Standards set out in Addendum C.
In addition, current government members of the SC running for re-election must have regularly attended and actively participated in meetings of the SC and the SC subcommittees, with Ministerial-level participation where applicable.
Other considerations for countries seeking election include: Strengths the government will bring to the SC and how it intends to contribute to OGP’s leadership through its participation in the SC; and Envisioned role and involvement of other government bodies (head of state/government, other ministries, foreign affairs and diplomatic networks) to advance OGP priorities and represent OGP globally.
The window for expressions of interest is between February 24-28 2020 and all governments, with the exception of those who have consecutively acted contrary to OGP process or values are permitted to participate.
The recommendation follows the precedent of the 2018 and 2019 elections which would otherwise prevent more than half of all OGP members from participating, thus potentially undermining the credible and democratic nature of this process. A review of these criteria will be undertaken in 2020.
With due regard to Regional Balance and in compliance with the Articles of Governance, the SC would be comprised of a minimum of one and a maximum of four governments from each of the four regions (Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe).
To stay within the regional balance parameters, the maximum allocation per region of the three seats becoming vacant in 2020 is as follows: 3 for Africa, 3 for Americas, 1 for Asia-Pacific, and 1 for Europe.
All OGP governments who are eligible to vote will receive the list of candidates and instructions to cast their vote accordingly.