The G20 has played a critical role in global anti-corruption efforts ever since the establishment of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) at the Toronto Summit in 2010. In April 2017, the ACWG continued to serve this important function by adopting the Compendium of good practices on the use of open data for Anti-corruption: Towards data-driven public sector integrity and civic auditing. This Compendium was prepared by the OECD at the request of the ACWG, and is intended to raise awareness about the benefits of using open government data to hold officials accountable and prevent corruption.
The use of open data for anti-corruption efforts has been high on the radar for the G20 and the OECD in recent years. In 2014, the ACWG established open data as an important issue for government transparency. The following year, at the G20 Summit in Turkey, the ACWG published a set of principles for anti-corruption open data that lay out how open data can be used as a tool to fight corruption and improve transparency. In 2016, the OECD held their own meeting on the topic of open government data and its social and economic benefits.
The new publication draws upon a survey conducted by the OECD in 15 G20 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. This survey collected information from public officials in charge of matters related to anti-corruption, public procurement, open data, and customs. Using this information, the OECD identified best practices for the use of open data as a tool to fight corruption, as well as how open data can lead to better governance across policy areas. The compendium is divided into three sections:
- Section 1 explores the direct linkages between open government data and anti-corruption efforts. These linkages are viewed from four different perspectives: transparency and accountability, government performance, national competitiveness, and social engagement. The section finishes with examples of how open data can be used to improve integrity in specific policy areas.
- Section 2 discusses the process of transforming government data into something open and actionable for anti-corruption endeavors. This process involves the implantation of open data policies in a variety of different domains, which would pave the way for government data as “open by default.” The section also discusses the extent to which certain G20 and OECD countries have already established open data policies and the challenges these countries face “to promote public value creation through open data.”
- Section 3 summarizes the results of the aforementioned survey and lays out a set of best practices for linking open government data and anti-corruption. This section also addresses the creation of an “open data ecosystem,” incorporating journalists and civil society organizations as partners in creating a corruption-free political environment based on the use of open data.
As a joint G20 and OECD project, this compendium is intended to encourage the use of open data to fight corruption in companies belonging to either grouping. The movement to use open data for this purpose highlights to opportunity for new methods to stamp out corrupt behavior in the Information Age. Read the full G20/OECD compendium here.