PHILIPS OLU OJO
Lagos state government has commenced the implementation of Open Government Initiative, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State has disclosed.
Mr. Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure at a two-day Art of Technology Lagos 1.0 (#AoTLagos) conference organised by the Office of the Governor’s Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology in collaboration with Eko Innovation Centre.
He said that “data access is seen as critical to the building blocks of a solution culture. Open data promotes inclusiveness, participation and more fit for purpose solutions. The Open Government initiative has kicked off and we will be communicating subsequent milestones with the public soon,” the governor promised.
The Open Government Initiative began on President Barack Obama’s first day in office when he issued his Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government. Obama summarized three principles that previous proponents of OGD had advocated for: the idea that government should be transparent, participatory and collaborative.
Following this statement, the State Department, after facilitating an online conversation between public employees and the public about their draft, published the Open Government plan using the memorandum’s three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration.
One of the earliest influences for the Open Government Initiative came from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1966. Later, the Privacy Act Amendments of 1974 created the classically modern version of the FOIA under President Ford.
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The next notable change came in 1996 when the FOIA made each resource available electronically to the public.
Finally, the influences for the bill culminated with President Bush’s signing of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which was a philosophically similar act to the Memorandum given by President Obama in 2009.
Lagos state government has a reputation for secrecy. Would the new open government embrace change the status quo? Only time can tell.