Open Government

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has committed in its mandate to establish an Open Government Policy to enhance civic participation, increase the availability and accessibility of information about government activities, and explore new technologies for openness and accountability.

The GNWT is currently engaging with NWT residents to find out what they would like to see in this Open Government Policy. Following the public engagement, the GNWT will prepare a draft policy for review by Regular Members of the Legislative Assembly.

The following principles, agreed-to by Members of the Legislative Assembly are being used to guide the development of the new Open Government Policy:

Accessibility: government data, information and decision-making should be accessible in a way that is responsive to the needs and expectations of NWT residents.

Applicability: how open government is understood in the NWT should reflect territorial culture and priorities.

Participation Valued: citizen participation in government decision making should be encouraged.

Equitable Approach: access to government data, information and dialogue should be timely, simple and available across multiple platforms.

Improved Governance: increased accountability and transparency should result from open government policy and practice.

Open Government is Better Government: use of government data and information, along with public participation in decision making, should help identify opportunities to improve programs and services.

Open by Design: public services should be open by design, to build a government that becomes open by default.

Privacy Matters: reasonable limits should be placed on information sharing to protect the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of information.

True democracy involves working with citizens and stakeholders, not just for them. Open governments across Canada acknowledge and benefit from the input, knowledge and expertise that citizens can contribute to the operations and decision-making of government.

Successful open governments use innovative activities, approaches and strategies to better connect citizens and stakeholders to their governments, which in turn lead to increased knowledge-sharing, innovation, collaboration and a more engaged and involved public to ultimately support and enable the development of better policies, decisions, programs and services.

Most jurisdictions across Canada, including the Federal government, have Open Government frameworks and policies in place, and it’s important for the GNWT to improve how it engages with residents.