First steps taken on open Government commitments

Others on the panel included, Mrs.Mihiri Gunewardhana (Assistant Director,Public Interest Law Foundation),Ms. Sankhitha Gunaratne(RTI Manager,Transparency International Sri Lanka) and Mr. Ariyapala Gamage (Executive Director, NGO National Action Front). (Colombo Gazette) These will serve to counter discrepancies and standardize teacher recruitment processes across the country.Dr. Sanath Mahawithanage from Sarvodaya, the lead civil society organisation working on the Health commitment, spoke of Sarvodaya’s undertaking to coordinate island wide awareness campaigns on the National Health Performance Framework (NHPF). He also highlighted the publics’ lack of awareness on national health policies adding that “many people are still not aware of the price reductions on vital medicines”. To read the full commitments  and milestones made by Government of Sri Lanka under the OGP, please visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/sri-lanka/action-plan To reinforce these findings a press conference was organized by the OGP Civil Society Steering Committee on 31st January at the Sri Lanka Foundation with the participation of 6 panel members from CSOs which are leading the Education, Environment, Health, Procurement and Right to Information thematic areas. The event was organized to engage the public on current OGP progress.Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Maithreyi Rajasingham, Executive Director, Viluthu, the lead civil society organisation working on the Education commitment, stated that they have already commenced working with the Ministry of Education and National Institute of Education to bring about changes to the teacher recruitment policies. The Government has taken its initial steps to implement ambitious governance reforms made through its Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments, Transparency International Sri Lanka said.The 12 key commitments, which received Cabinet approval in October 2016, range from issues concerning teacher recruitment and chronic kidney disease treatment to enhanced Anti-corruption agency coordination and RTI implementation. The Ministry of Foreign affairs, the OGP coordinating ministry,convened a series of joint working group sessions which were held on the 18th and 19th January. The sessions brought together line ministry officials and members of Civil Society Organizations who have been working on areas aligned with the 12 thematic commitments. These sessions allowed for Government and civil society to understand the steps that are being taken under the OGP commitments, and for the identification of gaps in implementation and the need for Civil Society oversight and monitoring.