Points of View 19th July 2015

Anti-Corruption: Why open governance matters | Transparency International UK

by Tim Hughes

Tim is coordinator of the UK Open Government Network.

Rachel Davies, Advocacy Manager at Transparency International UK and OGN Steering Group member, has written a blog post reflecting on the launch of the process to develop the UK’s third OGP National Action Plan:

‘Corruption hurts the poorest in society, in the UK and abroad. We need to ask ourselves: what kind of society do we want the UK to be? One that is fair, and just, and does not promote misery elsewhere? Or are we happy with a system that allows money stolen from health budgets in developing countries to be invested in Mayfair mansions?

The open government project offers the opportunity to change the status quo on many issues by enabling more transparency in how UK systems operate. For example, in the case above, by establishing transparency over who owns the companies that are buying up so much of Britain. At the moment, not even the Land Registry knows the answer to that one.

We know from experience that when corruption takes hold, it can be extremely hard to eradicate – institutions and systems can quickly deteriorate. Strong institutions that are transparent and accountable are bulwarks against corruption.

Open governance plays a vital role in the fight against corruption. There are a few key opportunities for government and civil society to change to status quo as the third OGP UK National Action Plan commitments are drafted.’

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