Open government is the simple but powerful idea that governments and institutions work better for citizens when they are transparent, engaging and accountable.
Open government has three parts:
- Transparency – opening up of government data and information on areas such as public spending, government contracts, lobbying activity, the development and impact of policy, and public service performance.
- Participation – support for a strong and independent civil society, the involvement of citizens and other stakeholders in decision making processes, and protection for whistleblowers and others who highlight waste, negligence or corruption in government.
- Accountability – rules, laws and mechanisms that ensure government listens, learns, responds and changes when it needs to.
Good open government reforms can transform the way government and public services work, ensuring that they are properly responsive to citizens, while improving their efficiency and effectiveness, and preventing abuses of state power.