Guelph to create Canada’s first municipal open government action plan

Plan will be Guelph’s road map for even more
accountable, transparent and engaging local government

Guelph, Ontario, July 24, 2013 – The City’s innovative open government action plan—the first of its kind in Canada—is now underway.

“The City is committed to pursuing an even more open, accountable, transparent and engaging municipal government—one that empowers the Guelph community to work together on innovative solutions and ultimately, all civic decisions,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “A tailor made open government action plan developed for Guelph and co-produced with residents and businesses will position this plan to resonate locally and be used by other jurisdictions as a model for success.”

Delvinia, a leading digital strategy firm located in Toronto, was recently awarded the contract to assist with the development of Guelph’s open government action plan through a competitive RFP process. Delvinia has partnered with the University of Toronto’s Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs to work with the City and community stakeholders to deliver a five-year road map and action plan for the City’s open government initiatives.

“Open government is more than simply making government services available online—it is about evolving as a municipality to take on a citizen-centric approach to provide unprecedented access to government in order to create a much more engaged community,” said Adam Froman, Delvinia’s chief executive officer.

“This action plan will not only shape future policy and strategy at the City of Guelph, it will impact open government innovation in the public sector as a whole—across Canada and internationally,” said Dr. David Wolfe, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs.

The City’s Open Government Framework (page 259 to 284), approved by Council last November, builds on Guelph’s history of public participation to co-produce ideas, solutions and services, and defines its unique approach to open government. The framework recognizes open government principles offer an opportunity to address key challenges facing public services, and identifies the need to align current City initiatives that already lend themselves to open government with new initiatives in the form of implementable actions.

“Guelph’s Open Government Framework is impressive and demonstrates a forward-thinking and progressive perspective that very few municipalities have the confidence to pursue,” Froman said.

“Open government initiatives depend on community interest, insight, and active participation; this project will offer community members new ways to get involved and participate in a monumental initiative for Guelph’s municipal government,” said Mayor Farbridge.

A total of $100,000 was approved for this project from the 2013 Corporate Strategic Initiatives Reserve budget.