May 1, 2011Doug Hadden
Doug Hadden, VP Products
Over 200 people gathered at the Transparency Camp managed by the Sunlight Foundation yesterday to talk about trends and lessons learned in government transparency (twitter hashtag #tcamp11). I was lucky enough to present a case study about Timor-Leste that generated some interesting discussions.
Governments in developing countries like Timor-Leste (aka East Timor) recognize the power of transparency to build stability and improve government performance. This appetite for transparency comes at a time where countries like the United States are cutting back on transparency funding.
When we in the developing world face these types of crisis, which we do on a more regular basis than our colleagues in more economically advanced nations — then we are repeatedly told to increase our openness to the global economy, to trust in the market but to regulate them well. To be honest this approach has worked
Minister of Finance Emilia Pires
Timor-Leste is using technology to rapid achieve transparency as part of a public financial management strategy to improve governance and enable civil society. This includes:
- Adoption of international standards
- Use of decision dashboards for manager
- Document management systems for correspondence and freedom of information
- E-procurement portal (to go live in August)
- Budget transparency portal at www.transparency.gov.tl
These initiatives put Timor-Leste on track to leapfrog the United States on transparency.
Timor-Leste will be the country that goes down in history as the nation to put a stop to falling victim to large companies and the resource curse.
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão
This video from the Sunlight Foundation gives a flavour for the event.