Mr. Speaker, in recognition of global Open Government Week, I would like to take this opportunity to update this House on our government's progress in advancing our mandate commitments for increasing government transparency and accountability.
One year ago, Mr. Speaker, I stood on this floor and announced the release of our government's Open Government Policy. The policy represented an important step towards fulfilling our government's pledge to greater openness and transparency.
Mr. Speaker, the Open Government Policy committed our government to develop directives and guidelines to improve the way we share information and data, and how we acquire and use feedback from residents from public engagements. All Ministers are accountable under the policy to ensure that their departments and agencies follow these directives and guidelines and to take further actions to increase openness and transparency.
Since the Open Government Policy was launched a year ago, an interdepartmental working group has worked to develop one of the major commitments of the Open Government Policy, a common approach to public engagement for our government. The approach has since been piloted within the government, and I am pleased to announce today that it has been launched to the public.
Engaging with the public on issues of importance and interest to them is vital to advancing the principles of open government, Mr. Speaker. This is why the common approach we have developed consists of a number of elements and resources, including:
- A step-by-step guide for employees planning public engagement activities;
- Updated web resources and a common online approach that provides a central listing of all public engagement opportunities; and
- An advisory committee to build capacity and a community of practice among our government staff.
Mr. Speaker, I want to encourage all Members in this House and NWT residents to visit the Open Government website and learn more about the Government of the Northwest Territories' common approach to public engagement. It is my hope that residents will embrace this new approach to engagement with our government and will make their voices known through their participation.
Mr. Speaker, as we approach the end of the 18th Legislative Assembly, I am proud of the progress that our government has made to increase government accountability and transparency. While we recognize that improving the way we share data and information and engage with residents is an ongoing process, not a destination, our government remains committed to this process and to fulfilling our mandate commitments in this area. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.