PH Citizen Participatory Audit project shortlisted in Bright Spots award at Open Gov’t Partnership global summit in London

18 October 2013
MEDIA RELEASE
Philippine project among shortlisted in Bright Spots award at Open Government Partnership global summit in London

A transparency project from the Philippines is among the shortlisted initiatives for the Bright Spots prize for the most inspiring examples of how open and accountable government is changing people’s lives.

The seven shortlisted initiatives vying for the Bright Spots award show how governments in Open Government Partnership countries are working with citizens to sharpen governance, harness new technologies to increase public participation, and improve government responsiveness. At the Open Government Partnership summit in London on 31 October and 1 November, participants will be able to vote for one of the shortlisted projects. The winning project, the Bright Spot, will be announced in the summit’s final plenary session.

British Ambassador Designate Asif Ahmad said, “The nominated project from the Philippines, the Citizen Participatory Audit, supports the principles of the Open Government Partnership. I hope that these ‘bright spots’ will inspire governments to take action and gain even more momentum for the global transparency movement. The Philippine government is currently dealing with such challenges and this is one example of commitment to greater transparency.”

“Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has spoken of how Britain has led an ambitious agenda on transparency this year through our chairmanship of the G8 and the Open Government Partnership. At the forthcoming Partnership’s summit, all participating countries have been invited to unveil an ambitious new commitment, helping to hardwire transparency even more firmly into international governance,” he added.

The shortlisted projects come from Chile, Estonia, Georgia, Indonesia, Montenegro, Philippines and Romania. They include mobilising citizens to audit government projects; an online portal for complaints about public services; a mobile app for people to report problems in their communities; a tool to channel public input on the legislative agenda; and an open system for civil service appointments.

These and other examples of innovative initiatives that bring real social and economic benefits will be discussed at the London summit. The summit will provide an opportunity for all member states to showcase their progress on open government and transparency and make ambitious new commitments. It will also give participants the opportunity to learn from one another – to see what works and doesn’t work around the world.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) was formally launched in September 2011 by the eight founding governments (United Kingdom, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United States). The OGP now has 60 participating countries. The UK is currently lead co-chair of the OGP.

3. World leaders and ministers from OGP countries are coming to London for the organisation’s annual summit to show their commitment to radically greater transparency and accountability to citizens. Attendees, including representatives of international civil society organisations, will discuss whether OGP countries are keeping their previous transparency promises and set ambitious new commitments for greater openness. Also attending will be private sector representatives and officials from international bodies including the World Bank, OECD, UNDP and IDB.

For more information about the OGP Annual Summit in London, 31 October – 1 November 2013, go to http://www.ogpsummit.org

The shortlisted entries for the Bright Spots prize – which will be awarded at the London summit – are:

· Chile – ChileAtiende

The aim of ChileAtiende has been to simplify government to citizens by providing a one-stop shop for accessing public services. Today, ChileAtiende has over 190 offices across the whole country, a national call centre, and a digital platform, through which citizens can access multiple services and benefits without having to navigate multiple government offices.
· Estonia – People’s Assembly

The People’s Assembly is a deliberative democracy tool, designed to encourage input from citizens on the Government’s legislative agenda. This web-based platform allows ordinary citizens to propose policy solutions to problems including fighting corruption. Within three weeks, 1,800 registered users posted nearly 6,000 ideas and comments. Parliament has since set a timetable for the most popular proposals to be introduced in the formal proceedings.
· Georgia – improvements to the Freedom of Information Act

Civil society organisations in Georgia have successfully used the Government’s participation in OGP to advocate improvements to the country’s Freedom of Information legislation. Government agencies are now obliged to proactively publish information in a way that is accessible to anyone, and to establish an electronic request system for information.

· Indonesia – complaints portal

LAPOR! (“to report”, in Indonesian) is a social media channel where Indonesian citizens can submit complaints and enquiries about development programmes and public services. Comments are transferred directly to relevant ministries or government agencies, which can respond via the website. LAPOR! now has more than 225,350 registered users and receives an average of 1,435 inputs per day.

· Montenegro – Be Responsible app

“Be Responsible” is a mobile app that allows citizens to report local problems – from illegal waste dumps, misuse of official vehicles and irregular parking, to failure to comply with tax regulations, and issues over access to healthcare and education.

· Philippines – citizen audits

The Citizen Participatory Audit project is exploring ways in which citizens can be directly engaged in the audit process for government projects and contribute to ensuring greater efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources. Four pilot audits are in progress, covering public works, welfare, environment and education projects

· Romania – transparency in public sector recruitment

The PublicJob.ro website was set up to counter corruption and lack of transparency in civil service recruitment. PublicJob.ro takes recruitment data from public organisations and e-mails it to more than 20,000 subscribers in a weekly newsletter. As a result, it has become more difficult to manipulate the recruitment process.

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