The research, ‘Connecting the dots: Building the case for open data to fight corruption’, measures the progress made by Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa in implementing the G20 Anti-Corruption Open Data Principles.
These principles were adopted by the G20 two years ago, committing countries to increase and improve the publication of public information, giving citizens vital information about the use of public resources including how taxes are spent, how government contracts are awarded and how money is funnelled into political campaigns.
The conclusion of our study is clear: there has not been enough progress. No country has released all the data sets identified as being key to anti-corruption and much of the information is hard to find and hard use.
This lack of progress is a missed opportunity for G20 countries to curb criminal activities, including money laundering and tax evasion, that defraud taxpayers and undermine government credibility.
Web Foundation Policy Director, Craig Fagan, said:
“The Panama Papers showed us the scale of corruption happening in the shadows that datasets can help reveal. These developments called for urgent solutions. That governments are instead dragging their feet on mobilising open data raises questions about their commitment to transparency.”
Robin Hodess, interim Internal Managing Director of Transparency International and a co-author of the report added:
“Governments need to step up their game if open data is to put a dent in global corruption. They must work to change attitudes among civil servants, invest in vital technology and the development of skills, and crucially, they must enshrine G20 Principles into national law,”