News

15 May 2017

OGP in the News - Week of May 8, 2017

A series providing a round-up of media attention received by Open Government Partnership throughout the world. Want to receive OGP in the News directly in your email inbox every Monday morning? Subscribe here.

This week’s OGP news covered #opengov developments of the past, present, and future with reflections on the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit, open government discussions with Pakistan, new transparency measures in Italy, and more!

Just over a year ago at the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced that Nigeria would join OGP. Since then, he has attempted to prove false former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s claim that Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt.” Uche Igwe of Nigeria’s Open Government Partnership Working Group authored a blog describing some of the OGP initiatives already undertaken as part of Nigeria’s fight against corruption, including a new whistleblower protection policy, which has led to the recovery of USD $180 million, and promises to create a beneficial owner registry by the end of 2017. More signs of progress in Nigeria came from an article in AllAfrica.com, where Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, was quoted saying that the government plans to launch a citizen budget portal. Furthermore, Director-General of the Federal Budget Office Ben Akabueze claimed that Nigeria’s participation in OGP was a “testament that the country was fully prepared to depart from the way of the past to transparency and accountability.”

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar travelled to Yokohama, Japan where he met with OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan. During the discussion, which was picked up by several Pakistani news sources, including Samaa TV and ARY News, Minister Dar outlined what the Pakistani government is doing to “ensure transparency in national budget preparation, government procurement and service delivery.” He mentioned more open procurement processes for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) projects and increased consultation with the private sector to facilitate business in Pakistan.

In preparation for Argentina’s third OGP National Action Plan (NAP), a series of workshops has been taking place across the country. One such workshop in the Province of Chaco—covered by local news source Diario Chaco—opened with a statement on “Raising Awareness about Open Government” by Horacio Rey, Chaco’s Secretary General of the Interior. Attended by 17 civil society organizations and several government ministers, the workshop sought to define some of the goals of Argentina’s upcoming NAP. Among the initial priorities cited in the article, from representatives of both government and civil society, were greater avenues for citizen participation, fiscal transparency, and government modernization.  

OGP also made news in the Dominican Republic, where Executive Director of the Justice and Transparency Foundation Miguel Angel Reyes authored an opinion piece for AlMomento.net. Criticizing the current government’s poor transparency record, Reyes referenced the Open Knowledge Foundation’s latest Global Open Data Index, in which the Dominican Republic received a score of 27%, marking just a one percent increase from 2015. The author went on to point out that the Dominican Republic ranked “below countries that are not even part of the Open Government Partnership” due in large part to data that is not available in an “open” format, or one that “anyone can access, use, modify and share.”

And in Italy, digital news site CorCom reported that Minister of Public Administration and Simplification Marianna Madia decided to follow in the footsteps of the Ministry of Economic Development by creating a public registry of her Ministry's meetings. The decision was well received by Italian civil society, including Federico Anghelè, of the anticorruption project “Riparte Il Futuro,” who said this move responded to requests made via OGP in November 2016 and allows Italian citizens to better understand who influences public decisions.  

Last but not least, with help from our friends at Involve UK, we have a new publication: “Improving Public Services: Guidance for developing OGP commitments.” Read it here.

Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to jacqueline.mcgraw@opengovpartnership.org.