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Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Transparency an idea whose time, definitively, has come."

So said co-chair of the Steering Committee, UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude,
in welcoming the eight new members - Argentina, Costa Rica, Finland, Hungary, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, and Liberia - to the Open Government Partnership in London this week. Twenty of the 58 member countries were represented at the Steering Committee and associated meetings. Mr Maude said
In just 18 months, the OGP has grown into a global movement of 58 countries. Now we must cement the credibility of the OGP as an international force for change by deepening engagement with existing participants and turning promises into actions.Transparency is a tool for reformers all over the world. The best way to make the OGP transparency message stick and encourage more countries to join, is to show how openness empowers citizens and improves their lives; and to make ourselves accountable if we fail to live up to our promises. Once people see the advantages of transparency, the democratic impetus for open government will be irresistible, and there will be no turning back............The UK is a world leader in transparency and we want to be the most transparent government in the world. We are also committed to helping other countries share in the benefits of transparency by increasing participation and exchanging information on openness initiatives through the OGP. An understanding of the potential of open data to sharpen accountability, fuel economic growth and prosperity, and improve public services is an important part of this.
During the week, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched the first in-depth study of how open data can be harnessed to foster better governance and provide better services in developing countries. ‘Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries’ (ODDC) grew out of discussions at the OGP in April 2012; and a progress report will be given at the OGP summit in London 31 October-1 November.

Who knows, maybe Australia will make that one?

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