OGP 2013: Selected quotes and videos

“The connection between the economic and political systems of a nation can be absolutely crucial. Of course there are market economies in closed political systems. But the best way to ensure an economy delivers long term success for all its people is to have it overseen by political institutions in which everyone can share. Where governments are the servants of the people, not the masters where close tabs are kept on the powerful and where the powerful are forced to act in the interests of the people, not a narrow clique. This is why the transparency agenda is so important.” UK Prime Minister David Cameron

On Transparency and Accountability:

“This is an important and epochal moment. People around the world are demanding much greater openness, good governance, and accountability from their governments. Citizens are demanding that the state should be their servant, not their master, and that information that governments hold should be open for everyone to see. At the same time, new technology is disrupting established bureaucracies and creating opportunities for much more responsive government. Around the world, reforms to open up government are delivering tangible benefits: faster growth, better public services, less corruption and less poverty. In short, transparency is an idea which is sweeping across the world or, to paraphrase Victor Hugo, an idea whose time has come. And nothing is more powerful than that.” Francis Maude, minister for the UK Cabinet Office

“Public confidence in government has been eroded, leading to growing global demands from civil society for greater accountability. Citizens are increasingly demanding to know what is happening around them and are no longer willing to be taken for granted. For citizens to become fully engaged in holding their leadership to account, accurate information is required to see where action is needed, to measure the results of policies and programmes, to build support for courageous decisions and to consolidate political legitimacy”, Mo Ibrahim – chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and a senior adviser to the Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reporting Mechanism

On Open Data:

“”Open Data is truly an opportunity to spur innovation and economic growth and improve the lives of everyday citizens,”  Minister Clement, President of the Canadian Treasury Board

“It is important that efforts to open up data and information are meaningful and lead to real change…Governments and companies must not shy away from publishing contentious datasets if they contain information that could be used to dramatically improve people’s lives….The open data movement has made a promising start, but many Open Government Data initiatives are presently resting on shallow foundations, at risk of falling backwards if political will or pressure from campaigners subsides.” Sir Tim Berners Lee

On Engagement:

“You get better public policy if you open up to a wide range of perspectives…Enabling citizens to participate is also a long term guarantee of stability” Helen Clarke, UNDP Administrator

“OGP’s institutional design has always favored an opt-in, race-to-top approach. [...]. Unfortunately, that design has also encouraged a lowest common denominator approach to open government in many countries. Politically easier reforms are embraced first through Action Plans while the tough, edgier, ‘frontier’ issues are glossed over.” Nathaniel Heller, Global Integrity.

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  • http://www.electing2blog.com Walter Neary

    Great selections. Makes me wonder instead of using hashtag #OpenGov we should be using #EngagedGov