13 Sep, 2023
An intensive stay at the Open Government Partnership Summit in Tallinn is behind us. In addition to individual participation in a number of panels, the Coalition also co-organized a session on the results of open contracting. It's time for some reflections from the event.
The Summit is undoubtedly one of the most important events for the community working for greater transparency in public spending. We had the opportunity to learn about the latest developments and reflections from our colleagues from all continents. There is certainly a greater emphasis on assessing the impact of our actions. The very issue of opening up public data and engaging citizens are only the first stages of the whole process.
This is why we spent more time discussing the results. We need to have a clear goal of what opening data serves. It may have been invigorating 10 years ago, but now governments and citizens expect to know what specific benefits it brings. We talked about the impact of open data on anti-corruption, increasing Green Procurement, or including women and disadvantaged minorities.
We noticed that an increasingly active group of participants in the Summit and the sessions on public spending were representatives of local governments. However, we need motivated officials and politicians at the central level as well. They were active participants in the event, but there is still plenty of space to increase their involvement. Representatives of the business sector were certainly missing. They are a very important participant in public procurement processes and are an important group among the beneficiaries of public funds. We should involve them in our discussions far more often.
A lot of space was also devoted to the issue of transparency of Beneficial Owners. Particularly in Europe, we have to face the consequences of the CJEU judgment of last November. We already warned then that it carries great risks for the detection of corruption cases by journalists and NGOs. That's why we are following the work on the next AML directive, which can help - although not in an ideal way - with finding the right balance in protecting privacy and the need to access information about company owners.
There is a lot of inspiration coming from this Summit, and it certainly motivates us to take new actions. It was also good to see that we have someone to learn from, but also that our actions are inspiring to others as well.
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