MacKay Hannah

ONLINE CONFERENCE Scottish Open Government: Delivering on the Scottish Government's Programme of Reforms

Tue 15th Dec 2020

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

This conference discusses the development of open government in Scotland's public bodies and services against the backdrop of the current and next Open Government in Scotland Action Plan published by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Open Government Network. It considers the roles of deliberative democracy, accountability, digital empowerment and co-production in decision making about the shape and funding of public services. It focuses on these opportunities in the context of ambitions on social justice, climate change and achieving net zero and in the immediate challenge of coronavirus pandemic and all its consequences for government and society.

In 2019 Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Scottish Government, said "Openness is a core value of the refreshed National Performance Framework, and I see our involvement in Open Government as one way of achieving transformative change in how we govern." Open Government in Scotland Action Plan 2018-2020, January 2019

Scotland and all its public bodies now face a range of powerful and demanding challenges which require leadership, focus and collective resolve. The scale of action needed to combat climate change and deliver net zero, manage the consequences of Brexit and address the continuing gap between public expenditure and public expectations for public services are durable and daunting enough. Adding the economic, societal and personal consequences of emerging and immediate threats, such as coronavirus, and the more routine activities of regular policy decision making for all public bodies makes it difficult to reach the best outcomes.

How can these challenges be met in ways which are inclusive, sustainable and just? The advent of open government in Scotland as a way of designing, commissioning and delivering services across all public bodies - and from the highest to the lowest level of government - presents an opportunity for much more representative decision making. Can it make easy decisions more durable and tough decisions more sustainable?

This conference is structured to discuss open government in Scotland in three parts:

  • Scotland's Open Government journey
  • Core challenges in delivering open government in Scotland
  • Engaging everyone - doing and thinking differently

Benefits of attending:

  • Hear how the 'Open Government in Scotland Action Plan' is being delivered
  • Understand what steps local government is taking to innovate and become open government
  • Discuss the objectives of Scottish Government in supporting open government
  • Consider the role of regulators in enabling accountability
  • Learn about developing financial and performance transparency
  • Examine the role of information as the currency of accountability
  • Reflect upon the advent of deliberative democracy and citizen participation
  • Hear about the role of digital enablement to connect citizens and services
  • Engage with thinking on the value of Scottish Civil Society

Who should attend:

  • Regulators 
  • Public sector bodies
  • Third sector service deliverers
  • Businesses operating in Scotland
  • Innovation and transformation leads
  • Customer services and complaints managers
  • Departmental directors and managers
  • Communications and marketing officers
  • Lawyers and legal advisors
  • FoI and GDPR officers
  • Policy officers
  • Change managers
  • Heads of service


Doreen Grove

Head of Open Government, Scottish Government

Carole Ewart

Convener at Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland

Rosemary Agnew

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Michael Oliphant

Audit Director, Audit Scotland

Lucy McTernan

Global Steering Committee civil society member, Open Government Partnership

Paul Bradley

Policy and Campaigns Officer, SCVO

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Very good sessions with excellent speakers. Content of sessions delivered practical applications of the themes discussed during the day.

Franck David - Children's Hearings Scotland,
Delegate: Public Sector Effective Governance Conference 2016

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