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Foreword by Paschal Donohoe, T.D.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform


As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I am leading the Government’s efforts to create with citizens a second National Action Plan as part of the Open Government Partnership. As part of this international initiative, every two years, Ireland makes commitments to make the State ever more transparent, ever more accountable and ever more inclusive in how it reaches decisions.

I would like thank all those who contributed ideas, either through our consultation portal, by participating in one of the Civic Forums held to discuss this plan, or directly with my Department’s staff. All the submissions received, reports on the Civic Forums and an explanation of how they have fed into this draft plan can be read on the portal.

As stated in the initial consultation document, complex policy issues cannot be solved by Government alone. When citizens are engaged in public policy making it leads to more informed decisions. Policies and services can then better respond to people’s needs. How the public might respond to policies and to new or reformed services will be better understood. Citizens and service users can better understand the reasons behind some decisions and have more confidence that things are moving in the right direction.

The contributions that were made as part of that initial consultation are deeply appreciated. All, including those that were critical, are equally valid. They come from a belief that we can improve how the state conducts its business. The commitments set out in this draft National Action Plan are framed at a high level. They cannot reflect in detail the depth of knowledge, experiences and ideas shared during the initial consultation. We will establish an Implementation Review Forum that will allow people to see how their contributions are reflected in implementing the commitments in this plan. The first Implementation Review Forum will take place in April 2017.

The final National Action Plan will run until the end of June 2018. The commitments chosen by the Government for inclusion in this plan are those that can be delivered in that time. The Open Government Partnership is built on continuous engagement with the public and Civil Society. The Government is committed to improving that engagement and to progressing the ambitions of the Partnership further in future plans.


This draft second National Action Plan, for the period to June 2018, sets out commitments across four themes:


  1. Increased Citizen Engagement, to improve policies and services


  1. Increased Transparency, to better understand government activities and decisions

  1. Open Data, for transparency and innovation


  1. Anti-Corruption and Strengthened Governance and Accountability, to ensure integrity in public life



I would welcome your views on this draft, which you can submit through our consultation portal at, or directly with my Department’s staff at or 01-604 5741.