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Government Transparency: The Emperor Has No Clothes


May 5, 2014

Doug Hadden, VP Products

An update on open govenment

Transparency remains a change challenge to governments especially given increasing citizen expectations. We were at the “rise of inflated expectations” 3 1/2 years ago for “open government”, “open data” and “Government 2.0.” The term “Government 2.0″ has fallen on disfavour. And, there remains a battle between those advocated open government data and those questioning the economic value of this information. As it was back in November 2010, transparency has become a battleground of narratives with vendors claiming to have products and services that provide value. There remains work to make a real business case for open government and open data.

There is some good news in the government transparency endeavour:

  • Risk factors such as poor metadata, complexity, timeliness and standards are being overcome
  • Transparency is increasingly seen as a positive political move
  • Costs for opendata support appear to be falling and good practices are shared among governments
  • Social media platforms are increasingly used to facilitate government transparency
  • Citizens are empowered, particularly with mobile technology, to oversee government initiatives and report on real outputs
  • Some governments are leveraging technology for participatory policy and budgeting
  • Techniques like lean and agile are used to find traction for the “Minimum Viable Product” for open data reducing costs and risks
  • Government transparency is increasingly aligned with trust

Some of the bad news includes: