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US Releases Open Government Strategy: Political News and Broadcasts

A weekly digest of the Global Government Forum news you need to know but may have disappeared.

White House releases Open Government Action Plan

The Biden administration has unveiled plans for a more transparent and accountable federal government.

The plan, released by the White House, marks the first open government national action plan for the United States, and the fifth such plan overall.

It is based on the President’s 2021 Agenda, which identifies three priorities: strengthening the federal workforce; provide “improved customer experience”; and funding for essential services post-COVID-19.

Alexander McGillivray, Vice Assistant to the President and Senior Vice President of Technology, said regular public participation in government would improve public services and hold government accountable for their delivery.

“Government works best when we create channels through which members of the public can contact us regularly and hold us accountable for improving the lives of all, including communities excluded from social, economic and civic life,” he said.

The plan aims to improve access to government data, research and information, strengthen public spaces for public participation, and transform public service delivery, in line with an executive order signed by the president last year.

Other areas of interest include fighting government corruption and achieving equality before the law.

Read more: Biden administration’s agenda prioritizes engaging federal employees

Turkey announces blockchain project to verify users of digital public services

The Turkish government has unveiled plans to use blockchain technology on its e-Devlet government services portal to identify and verify citizens when they log in.

At the Digital Turkey 2023 event, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the use of distributed ledger technology will allow citizens to access e-wallet applications through a secure digital ID as part of their interaction with online government services.

“With a login system that will work as part of the e-wallet application, our citizens will be able to log into the e-devlet with a digital identity created on the blockchain network,” Oktay said.

Blockchain technology is typically used to record transaction data on a large network of computers, which can then not be modified or manipulated. It has become widespread due to its decentralized functionality, which provides access to transactions for audit and verification purposes.

Turkey has a successful track record of developing ambitious blockchain projects. For example, in 2019 it announced its national blockchain infrastructure and regulatory sandbox, and in 2020 it announced the Citycoin project. They were aimed at making it easier for citizens to pay for services and allow the authorities to collect taxes more efficiently. However, no further details have been released since the initial announcement.

Read more: The Bank on It: How Financial Digital Identity Can Promote Security and Inclusion

The French government has been criticized in court for the failure of climate policy

An administrative tribunal in Paris ruled that the French government had failed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with its obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The court said the government’s failure to meet emissions targets meant it was partially responsible for environmental damage.

The decision was made in a case brought in 2018 by a coalition of NGOs that has the support of more than two million citizens. NGOs accused the French government of not doing enough to limit the effects of climate change and called on the court to put pressure on the country to change and live up to its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

NGOs hailed the decision, calling it “a first historic climate victory and a huge step forward for French legislation”, adding that “so far, the state has denied the inadequacy of its political climate, despite the accumulation of evidence.”

The group said it hopes the decision will force the government to “finally take concrete action to at least meet its climate commitments” and that “justice will go beyond admitting wrongdoing by the state.”

This is the first time that a court has condemned the French government for failing climate policy. However, similar regulations have been adopted in countries such as the Netherlands and the UK.

Read more: Why COP27 should focus on climate change adaptation

The Australian government has faced backlash for ignoring advice from a senior health official about testing when traveling to China.

The Australian government has been criticized for going against the advice of its chief medical officer not to conduct pre-flight COVID checks for travelers from China.

Professor Paul Kelly’s advice was given on December 31st by the country’s Ministry of Health. He said Kelly did not believe the additional travel requirements were “sufficiently warranted by public health” and that the additional restrictions placed on travelers from China were “disproportionate to the risks.”

Australian Health Minister Mark Butler defended the government’s decision. He said the country’s pre-flight measures represent “great caution”, accused Beijing of a “lack of comprehensive information” about the outbreak in China, and said Australia’s measures are no different from those of other countries.

The decision to go against Kelly’s advice was criticized by the Liberal Australian Opposition/National Coalition. David Littleproud, leader of the National Party, urged Butler to restore the confidence of the Australian public by clearing up the “confusion” over travel advice. He said that Butler had an obligation to “specify … which trigger points should move forward.”

Melissa McIntosh, a member of the Australian Liberal Party and Deputy Shadow Minister for Mental Health, called Butler’s decision to speak to the country’s top health adviser “extremely confusing.”

In an interview with the Australian morning news program ABC News Breakfast, she said: “One of the reasons Australia survived the pandemic. [and] It was one of the best countries in the world because we followed the medical advice in Australia. »

Read more: Audit reveals gaps in Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

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