Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

This week, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is holding its 5th global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia to highlight three cross-cutting issues facing national governments today: anti-corruption, civic engagement and public service. Transparency International is there in force, with a delegation from Argentina, Armenia, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Germany, Georgia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, UK and Vietnam. Our goal is simple: hold governments accountable to the commitments they’ve made on anti-corruption.

Why the summit matters

Since its creation in 2011, the OGP has quickly become the leading international platform for civil society and local and national public institutions to work together to increase openness and accountability in government.

This partnership has a special urgency, as Joseph Powell, Deputy CEO of OGP, said in his message to attendees: human rights abuses, challenges to the rule of law and shrinking space for civil society are becoming the norm in many countries.

Policy briefs address alarming trends

At Transparency International, we’re also concerned about these trends, and their impact on corruption levels around the world.

That’s why in the lead-up to the summit, we published three policy briefs to help guide the development of OGP national action plans (NAPs): roadmaps created together by governments and civil society to prioritise key commitments on the national agenda.

 

Politicians understand the meaning of corruption, but do they understand the meaning of commitment? We have to work together to go beyond words and create more open and accountable government for all.

Delia Ferreira Rubio Chair, Transparency International OGP Steering Committee member

Beneficial ownership transparency

As outlined in our first policy brief, the true “beneficial” owners of a company are the individuals who ultimately control or profit from it. Often this information is unavailable or deliberately obscured, making it far more difficult to detect corrupt activity. Open registers of beneficial ownership make it harder for corrupt individuals to hide their connection to illicit flows of capital

Fifteen countries in the OGP, including Slovakia, UK and Ukraine, are using their national action plans to declare and implement world-leading initiatives on beneficial ownership. Governments must continue to build on this foundation, ensuring not only that open registers exist, but that the data they contain meets global standards. Read more. 

PANEL: What's Next on Beneficial Ownership? Company Leadership and Implementation through NAPs

18 July, 15:30 (GMT+4)

Funicular complex, restaurant

Tbilisi 0114, Georgia

Lobbying

The vast majority of lobbying worldwide is unregulated. Integrity norms and public safeguards are rare, while scandal is never far away.

Yet lobbying is also an integral part of a healthy democracy, closely related to universal values such as freedom of speech and the right to petition the government.

The challenge for governments is to prohibit unethical activity while facilitating transparent and equitable public access to policy-making. They should prioritise open-data public registers of lobbying interactions, transparency over policy making, and mandatory codes of conduct. Read more

 

EU Integrity Watch provides information about lobbying, revolving doors and parliamentarians' outside incomes in a user-friendly online platform.

Read More

PANEL: Opening Decision Making: Lobby Transparency

18 July, 17:00 (GMT+4)

Funicular complex, restaurant

Tbilisi 0114, Georgia

Open Contracting

Procurement of goods and services poses one of the greatest public-sector corruption risks worldwide.

Open contracting is a suite of complementary policies that improve transparency, public participation and accountability in procurement.

In 2015, the government of Ukraine improved its corrupt and opaque procurement system with an online platform that uses the Open Contracting Data Standard to publish data about the whole procurement cycle. Three years later, government savings have topped US$1 billion. Other governments should follow suit, make all contracts “open by default”, and promote independent monitoring by citizens and civil society. Read more.

PANEL: Rethinking Public Procurement Systems: Past, Present, and Future

19 July, 14:00 (GMT+4)

Funicular complex, UTW 2

Tbilisi 0114, Georgia

Open government is not only about the values of democracy, openness, and civic space, but about helping governments deliver better results for their citizens.

Joseph Powell Deputy CEO Open Government Partnership

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

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