Policy Shows Commitment to Making Government More Open, Transparent and Accountable

YELLOWKNIFE (March 09, 2018) – Premier Bob McLeod released the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Open Government Policy, fulfilling a key mandate commitment and demonstrating the government’s continued efforts to become increasingly open, transparent and accountable to Northwest Territories residents.

The Policy establishes a set of Open Government principles, and provides a framework for the development of directives, guidelines and tools that will support and guide departments to implement the principles of Open Government in three key areas:

  • Release of government-held information, such as information about government programs, publications, activities and spending (Open Information)
  • Release of government-held data, such as datasets, facts, figures or statistics (Open Data)
  • Meaningful engagement of residents, communities and organizations in government decision-making processes (Open Dialogue)

In addition to the directives and guidelines to be developed, the Policy provides a means for departments to identify ways to make their existing activities and resources more open and accessible, for example bringing greater consistency to the way information and data are made available for residents, and to the government’s existing public engagement activities.

The release of all government information and data will still be subject to the protections provided for in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act or any other relevant legislation. Personal information of individuals held by public bodies will continue to be protected from disclosure and directives and guidelines developed under the Policy will include measures to ensure data and information of a sensitive nature or subject to privacy, security or legal restrictions are not released.


“The GNWT has taken many steps in the 18th Legislative Assembly to become a more open and transparent government; however we respect the importance of the public’s right to have more access to government-held data and information and to know more about government decisions and how they are made. Establishing an Open Government Policy is an important step in ensuring we are able to consistently meet this demand, as well as our obligation to be accountable for our decisions and actions.”
- Bob McLeod, Premier

Quick facts:

  • The GNWT has established an Open Government website to provide residents with more information on Open Government in general, and to facilitate access to government information, data and engagement activities.
  • The Open Government Policy was based on input provided by residents through public engagement process. The results of that engagement were published in the What We Heard report on Public Engagement and Transparency: Open Government, tabled in the Legislative Assembly on October 17, 2017.
  • The policy establishes overarching principles for Open Government, clarifies authorities and accountabilities, and establishes some of the key actions required for implementation.
  • The terms Open Information, Open Data and Open Dialogue have specific meanings, which are defined in the Policy.
  • The Policy establishes an Open Government Steering Committee that will oversee the implementation of the Policy, including the development of government-wide directives and guidelines.
  • An interdepartmental working group has been established to encourage collaboration among departments to advance the principles of Open Government.


Media Contact:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: 867-767-9140  Ext. 11092