Dear President Violeta Bermúdez Valdivia, Secretary Sara Arobes, Ambassador Diego Mellado, Friends following us online:
It is a pleasure to be with you all for the launch of the OECD Handbook on Open Government for Peruvian Public Officials. First, I would like to thank the Delegation of the European Union to Peru for their valuable support throughout this project.
Dear President of the Council of Ministers, your presence here today demonstrates the high level of commitment and interest of the Peruvian government in its co-operation with the OECD, which reflects why it is one of the most active Partner countries. Peru was amongst the first countries to engage with the OECD through an OECD Country Programme, which was built around five key areas: economic growth; public governance, anti-corruption and transparency; human capital and productivity; and environment.
The Guide we are launching today was written in the framework of this co-operation, and is designed to help Peru in implementing the recommendations of the 2016 OECD Public Governance Review of Peru, which identified opportunities to improve public management and service delivery, and included an analysis of Peru's open government agenda.
Open government in Peru is more important than ever
Open government, which is an important pillar of strong democracies and essential for promoting integrity in the public sector, is more relevant than ever. Moreover, the risks and consequences of closed government have become even more visible in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, where transparency, accountability and participation have become even more important. Trust in public institutions has been vital in strengthening the capacity of governments to respond quickly to the challenges posed by the different stages of the pandemic, and to ensure citizens' compliance.
The Handbook on Open Government that we are presenting today translates some of the key elements of the recommendations I referred to above to the particular case of Peru. Its main objective is to turn Peruvian civil servants into "ambassadors of change", who support public institutions in their transition towards openness.
In response to the Peruvian government's priorities, the Handbook aims to support the development of the open government capacities and skills of public officials.
Some key recommendations
This Handbook can serve as a compass to guide all Peru’s civil servants and public institutions in strengthening their open government agenda, generating trust in citizens, and reinforcing democratic institutions.
In addition to socialising the concept of open government, the Handbook provides practical tips and advice inspired by good practices in OECD countries on how to establish appropriate governance frameworks; encourage the proactive and reactive disclosure of public information; improve citizen participation to foster an active civil society; and increase the accountability and responsiveness of Peruvian public institutions. To this end, the Peruvian government could make use of the advice set out in the Handbook to develop technical support such as toolkits, instructions and checklists to assist officials in implementing open government initiatives.
The reconstruction period that lies ahead is a perfect opportunity for Peru to take its open government agenda to the next level. To make this step forward, the OECD is keeping an open invitation for Peru to join the 2017 OECD Council Recommendation on Open Government, as other countries in the region have done, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.
We are at a key moment in terms of emerging from the crisis caused by COVID-19. A decisive moment for building a better tomorrow for all citizens. At the OECD, we believe that the principles of open government - transparency, accountability, integrity and participation - must be used to help address these difficult times and ensure a better recovery.
You can count on the OECD to support the Peruvian government in its open government agenda.