Feeds

Open Government Partnership talks tech-led transparency

Open government ideas shared at global gabfest

New hybrid storage solutions

The Open Government Partnership has met in Brasilia, and discussed several technology-enabled openness initiatives.

The Partnership has over members and bills itself as “a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.” Members create openness Action Plans, elements if which were shared at the meeting.

Some of those plans discussed technology-fuelled openness plans including:

  • Open data portals – covering everything from crime statistics and political party funding to local budgets and procurement (proposed by Chile, Estonia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Peru, Romania, Spain and Tanzania).
  • Improved service delivery – including an interactive local water-point mapping system in Tanzania, digitized medical records in Spain and new/improved portals on service delivery in Italy, Israel, Tanzania and Uruguay.
  • E-petitions. – Ukraine, Slovak Republic, Moldova and Montenegro are all introducing online e-petition portals to collect and respond to citizens’ proposals more quickly and effectively.
  • Challenges and prizes. – Uruguay, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Colombia are introducing government-sponsored prizes and challenges to encourage the private sector and public agencies to better use government data.

The event also featured a Hack Day at which coders were let loose on “A newly created database of government commitments around transparency, accountability and participation covering approximately 50 OGP member countries.” US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton attended the event, and lauded technology's role in open government.

“Now one theme running through these national action plans is technology, because in the digital age, we now have tools that previous generations of open government advocates couldn’t even dream of,” she told the event. “New technologies make it both possible and useful to do things that were once impractical or prohibitively expensive, like releasing enormous quantities of public data, or making national budgets easily available online. And of course, new connection technologies empower citizens to connect with one another and their leaders, as we have seen in this past year of the era of awakening.”

“I’ve seen how technology is transforming the way that we and other nations do diplomacy and development, and later today, I will be sending policy guidance to every U.S. Embassy worldwide on modernizing technology through diplomacy. We want to open up the State Department not only to U.S. citizens, but to people everywhere, because in keeping with the principles of open government and this partnership, we believe that when people are empowered to speak their minds and leaders are held to account for their actions, we all do better.”

But Clinton also warned the existence of technology does not translate into openness. “Technology isn’t some kind of magic wand,” she said. “Ultimately, it is political will that determines whether or not we hold ourselves accountable.”

Representatives of the UK government also attended the even, but Australia is not yet a member and did not send a representative. A spokesperson for Australia's Attorney-General's department said "The Government is considering and consulting on the Open Government Partnership initiative including attending a meeting of the partnership in July 2011." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
FAIL.GOV – Government asks Dropbox for accounts that don't exist
Storage locker's transparency report shows rise in government data gobble attempts
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.