26 September 2012

This week is the first anniversary of the Open Government Partnership. An ‘infographic’ on the Open Government blog gives a helpful picture of progress during the year. The founding membership involved eight national governments. Since then, another 49 states have committed to the partnership.

New Zealand and Australia remain aloof despite (or because?) the Worldwide Governance Indicators show that both rate better on all indicators than most of the OGP membership ( although Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands are part of the OGP.)

The British Minister for the Cabinet Office has commented enthusiastically about the transparency movement, championed by the OGP.

“…Open data is driving growth and prosperity. Data is the raw material of the 21st century and a resource for a new generation of entrepreneurs. But transparency is not just about economics. Transparency shines a light on underperformance and inefficiencies in public services. It allows citizens and the media to hold governments to account, strengthening civil society and building more open societies…”

“…As lead co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, the United Kingdom will lead by example. Data.gov.uk, our web portal, is already the largest data resource in the world with over 40,000 files online. We’ve also ensured that every British government department has specific new open data commitments in their business plans. But we aren’t stopping there. Alongside our international work through the partnership, Britain will keep driving forward our domestic transparency agenda…”

“…The open data revolution is having real and measurable impacts on public services and citizen choice in Britain. To take just one example from an OGP commitment, we now release information showing GP practice performance in handling cancer cases. This allows patients to compare survival rates between neighbouring practices and make decisions about their care…”