What is open Government?
There is not yet a single accepted definition of open government, although there is much commonality in the evolving definitions. The OECD, in Modernising Government: The Way Forward describes open government as “The transparency of government actions, the accessibility of government services and information, and the responsiveness of government to new ideas, demands and needs”
Often open government is equated with transparency. For example, the book Open Government Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice says that open government in its most basic sense is “the notion that people have the right to access the documents and proceedings of government”. However transparency on its own is not enough. Citizens need to be able to have a say about issues that matter to them and a chance to influence decision-making and hold those making decisions to account.
The working definition that we have used in developing this guide comes from Global Integrity and encompasses these strands of transparency, participation and accountability.
Nature of documentation: Guide