Topics

The Guide is divided into cross-cutting topics, which are issues that impact across government, and focused-topics that relate more specifically to the work of particular ministries and departments. The content of each Topic was developed by an expert organisation. New topics will be added as the Guide develops.

 

Cross Cutting topics

Assets disclosure and conflicts of interest

Asset disclosure and conflict of interest laws act as a deterrent against graft, collusion, and patronage in the public sector.

Budgets

Budgets are the link between policies and their implementation. Citizens have a right to know how their governments are collecting and spending their money.

Citizen engagement

Citizen engagement is what open government is all about. Citizens must feel free and empowered to voice their opinions, and governments should actively seek to engage the public in decision making.

Open government data

By opening up data, and making it sharable and reusable government can enable informed debate, better decision making, and the development of innovative new services.

Privacy and data protection

Respecting the privacy of individual citizens is the other side of the coin to ensuring the accountability and openness of powerful institutions.

Public contracting

Open contracting prevents mismanagement, inefficiency, and corruption and enables public contracts to be awarded fairly, delivering value-for-money and better services and infrastructure.

Public services

Local people can often see problems in healthcare, education and other public services. Enabling people to act and help to find solutions is the key challenge for effective public services.

Records management

Successful open government depends on sound records management to ensure that information is accurate, reliable, accessible, usable and authentic for as long as it may be needed.

Right to information

The right to information underpins the spirit and practice of open government.

Whistleblower protection

Those working in an organisation are often the first to recognise misconduct or illegal activity. It is vital that individuals can safely report concerns, and that their concerns are investigated.

Focused topics

Aid

Transparent information about aid funding allows countries receiving aid to use it better, citizens to hold their governments to account and donors to judge where aid is most needed.

Construction

Strengthening transparency and accountability in public construction saves public money, results in better and more reliable infrastructure and improves investor confidence.

Consumer protection

Protecting consumers, and enabling them to be informed and active is critical to allowing people's views to be heard.


Elections

Elections are critical accountability mechanisms. Citizens have a right to participate and also a right to know whether the electoral process is valid and free of corruption.

Environment

People depend on a healthy environment for life and livelihoods. But decisions are often made without the involvement of those whose interests are at stake.

Extractive industry

Transparency and accountability are crucial in the governance of natural resources, from the decision to extract to the granting of concessions, to the collection and management of revenues.

Fisheries

Global problems facing the marine fisheries sector, including overfishing and the marginalization of the small-scale sector, are leading to increased awareness of the need to improve transparency.

Land

A well-functioning land sector can boost a country's economic, social and environmental development. However, weak governance of land and land rights too often hinders this.

Parliaments

Democracy isn't just about elections. Open parliaments inform citizens about their work, empower them to engage in the legislative process and to hold parliamentarians to account.

Police and public security

The primary point of contact many citizens have with their government is a police officer. Given the extraordinary power and authority vested in the police, accountability is particularly important.

Security sector

Diplomacy, military operations and intelligence activities require some necessary secrecy to be effective, but should also be covered by transparency and accountability rules and safeguards.

Tax and Illicit flows

Financial transparency enables action against fraud and corruption, ensures openness about taxation policy and implementation, improves market efficiency and provides protections for investors.