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UK Open Government Action Plan Consultation

The UK Open Government Civil Society Network is collecting ideas from anyone committed to the values of transparency, citizen participation and accountability, for reforms the UK Government should commit to in its 2018-2020 Open Government Action Plan.

Starting: 11 Dec Ending

0 days left (ends 06 Apr)

What would you do to make government in the UK more open and accountable?  Submit your idea now!  

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What is Open Government?

Open government is the simple but powerful idea that governments work better for citizens when they are transparent, participatory and accountable.

Open government reforms can transform the way government and public services work, ensuring that they are properly responsive to citizens, and helping deliver better outcomes for society. Good health and wellbeing, quality education, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities - open government is critical to achieving all of these outcomes and more.

What are we doing?

The UK Open Government Network is collecting ideas for reforms the UK Government should commit to in its 2018-2020 Open Government Action Plan from citizens, community groups, civil society organisations, and anyone else committed to the values of transparency, citizen participation and accountability (in other words, you!).

The strongest ideas will have a clear explanation of what is being proposed and why. Please consider structuring your idea according to these three questions:

  1. What is your idea? - Brief summary of the idea
  2. Why is it important? - Explanation of what problem the idea would help solve (including any evidence)
  3. How would it work? - Explanation of how the idea would work in practice

At the end of this crowdsourcing phase, the Open Government Network will prioritise and develop the best ideas into a set of proposals to present to the government and advocate for.

Join the Open Government Network to help prioritise and campaign for the ideas!

Submit your idea!

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The UK Open Government Network (OGN) is a coalition of active citizens and civil society organisations committed to making government work better for people through increased transparency, participation and accountability.

CONTRIBUTORS (31)

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Author: justin@developmentmonitor.org.uk Date: 03 April 2018

There are occassionally reports of UK officials lobbying on behalf of UK companies in developing countries, in ways that appear to work against the interests of people in those countries, for example https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/09/british-diplomat-lobbied-big-tobacco-bat-bangladesh-unpaid-vat. These may be the same people that the UK is trying to assist through its aid policies. However, it is hard to know how prevalent this issue is as data on meetings of UK ambassadors / high commissioners is not routinely published, and so issues only tend to be uncovered through targeted FOI requests (which assumes there is some knowledge of the issue to be targeted). 

A solution to this would be for regular transparency data to be reported for these meetings, in a similar way as is done for ministerial meetings. The scope of regular reporting could potentially be limited to certain countries and/or to meetings with representatives of UK controlled companies.

Category: Open data
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Author: justin@developmentmonitor.org.uk Date: 03 April 2018

The Government publishes its datasets on data.gov.uk. However, one current major limitation is that this service does not allow you to search inside datasets (i.e. CSV or XLSX files). For example, if you wanted to find all datasets that contained the text "Deloitte" or "Nigeria", then there is no simple way of doing this unless you know the specific datasets you are after. The response I got from GDS when I asked about this last year was.

"the search on data.gov.uk only looks at the title and descriptions of datasets, and not inside the actual data file itself. ...This is obviously a limitation to our current search function - but not one that would be simple to fix, since data.gov.uk doesn't actually host data files, just links to them.... I'm afraid it's not something that's on our roadmap at the moment as it's technically quite complex. "

However, I am not sure that it is *that* complex to build such a search function to do this (I have been told it is quite easy to write a python script to do something similar) and it would be of significant benefit in uncovering useful information, particularly if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.

Category: Open data
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Author: Jess Blair Date: 20 March 2018

There is a lack of information published around the diversity of candidates and elected representatives. It is vitally important that this information is publicly available to allow us to monitor progress and identify areas where representation needs to be improved.

 

As such we would like to see a Government commitment to the enactment of section 106 of the Equality Act 2010

 

This would cover the publication of information pertaining to candidates selected for an election by each political party, candidates successfully elected and those that fail to be elected. This should include elections to the UK Parliament as well as to devolved administrations across the UK. 

 

We would further urge UK Government to consider extending the requirement for information on selection and election to local government elections (including combined authority mayoral candidates) and putting a duty on local authorities to publish this information, ideally by the local elections in 2019.

 

Electoral Reform Society

Fawcett Society

Helen Pankhurst

Category: Parliament
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Author: spjhawley@gmail.com Date: 19 March 2018

A national register of corporate convictions and regulatory fines 

 

What is your idea? 

 

In order to improve information available to public authorities, helping them to make informed and accurate decisions about how to contract with responsible companies, the government should create a publicly accessible national register of companies that have received a conviction, regulatory fine, ruling, remedial order or other relevant adverse finding in relation to economic crimes, social, labour and environmental laws and professional conduct. This would support the development of consistent practice across the public sector and support contracting authorities in their interpretation and application of Reg. 57 of the 2015 Public Contracts Regulations.   

 

Why is it important? 

 

Currently, there is no centralised information about companies that have been convicted, subject to regulatory action in the UK, or that have been excluded by other public authorities. Under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), companies must be debarred from bidding for public contracts if they have been found guilty of corruption, fraud, money laundering, modern slavery, tax evasion, terrorist offences, child labour or human trafficking (reg.57(1) PCR 2015) subject to self-cleaning provisions (reg.57 (13) PCR 2015). Additionally, companies may be excluded from bidding for public contracts where they have violated environmental, social and labour laws, engaged in anti-competitive behaviour, grave professional misconduct or conflicts of interest, as well as if they have failed to meet previous contractual obligations (reg.57(8) PCR 2015). Contracting authorities are also under an obligation to terminate any contracts with companies that should have been debarred due to a mandatory exclusion ground (reg.73(1)(b) in relation to reg 57(1) PCR 2015). It is thus crucial for contracting authorities not to enter into contracts with debarred suppliers.

 

However, it is often impossible for contracting authorities to know and verify whether companies have engaged in any of these activities because of the absence of centralised information. Individual public bodies that have put out a contract for tender must expend considerable time and effort to check whether or not bidding companies have past, relevant adverse findings against them, including convictions and there is no guarantee that this process will yield accurate results. For instance, conviction records in the Police National Computer do not automatically include convictions secured by the UK Serious Fraud Office, which prosecutes the largest and most complex economic crime cases. While this could be fixed relatively easily, a public register that encompasses more than convictions is necessary to ensure consistency in the application of the PCR 2015, and enables public authorities to access a wide range of information quickly and easily.

 

A centralised register would make procurement decisions more efficient thus saving resources. Additionally, the register would help meet the UK Anti-Corruption Summit commitment of excluding corrupt bidders from public procurement.

 

How would it work? 

 

The proposal is relatively straightforward, and could be implemented with minimal cost. The database would be maintained by a central authority. Public prosecutors in the UK, including the Crown Prosecution Service, Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC, the Health and Safety Executive, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and all other industry regulators, would be obliged to send the central body details of any action, regulatory or criminal taken against companies in the past five years for relevant behaviour under article 57 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.  Additionally, public authorities that have excluded companies based on any of the grounds under article 57 of the PCR would be required to notify the central authority and the exclusion would be registered in the database. This would help to ensure consistency across public authorities.

 

It should be noted that in the US a national register of convicted companies is already in place, and Germany is looking to introduce a similar system.

 

In March 2012 the OECD's Working Group on Bribery recommended that the UK establish a national debarment register in order to allow a systematic approach to excluding corrupt companies from public procurement. The recommendation remains unimplemented.

 

Category: Contracting
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Author: rahulrose100@gmail.com Date: 09 March 2018
  1. What is your idea? 

UK authorities should ensure that more court data, including court documents and court lists, are available to the public online.

  1. Why is it important? 

Open justice, the general rule that the administration of justice should be done in public, is uncontroversial and widely supported. It brings a number of significant benefits, including: public scrutiny and accountability of courts and judges; public confidence in the justice system; and increases the deterrent effect of court sanctions. An open court system also puts pressure on witnesses to tell the truth and allows the public to find out about instances of major corruption, fraud and wrongdoing.

 

However, despite this, the court system of England and Wales can feel opaque and bureaucratic even for experienced investigative journalists.

 

Court lists, which detail when and where hearings take place, generally contain so few details that some key cases of significant public interest, including entire trials, are going largely unnoticed by the public and media. Court documents, which are necessary for members of the public to understand complex legal proceedings, are also very difficult to access without the payment of fees, multiple trips to the court, and in many cases litigation. To add, court transcription services are prohibitively expensive, costing upwards of £20,000 for a three-week trial.

 

  1. How would it work? 

The government is currently undertaking £1 billion reform programme to modernise the court system, largely through the introduction of new digital technologies. This digital modernisation programme offers a number of opportunities for open justice:

  1. The government should make it mandatory for courts to publish judgments online unless there are strong countervailing reasons against doing so. This is particularly important as much of the case law, which lies at the heart of our common law system, is currently inaccessible without the payment of a prohibitively expensive transcription fee.

 

  1. HMCTS should ensure that key court documents are readily and publicly accessible online. As a general rule, this should include in civil cases: skeleton arguments and ‘statements of case’, such as the claim form, particulars of claim and defence. In criminal cases, this should include: opening statements, a copy of the judge’s summing up, sentencing remarks and basis of plea. 

It should be noted that an online system for court document access is already available for the Rolls Building in London, but similar provisions are not available for the rest of the court system. 

  1. The provision of public online listings for all courts (at present, there are no online lists for magistrates’ courts). Online lists should be published well in advance of hearings (at present, court lists are provided less than 24 hours before a given hearing/trial). Lists should give more detail than presently provided so that members of the public can make an informed decision about whether to attend a hearing, including the names of both parties and charges in a given case. 

 

  1. If a court transcript is purchased, then this should subsequently be published online and made publicly available. This system is already in use in the US where transcripts from district and bankruptcy courts are published online following purchase.

More broadly, the government should carry out a review of the current costly court transcription system, which is provided by six private companies that claim copyright over transcripts. The review should look at the possibility of relaxing rules preventing recording devices being used by members of the public in court.  

Category: Courts
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Author: tim@jubileedebt.org.uk Date: 09 March 2018

Jubilee Debt Campaign has been developing proposals to incentivise transparency of loans to governments. This follows recent revelations, including in Mozambique and the Republic of Congo, of loans with government guarantees that were largely kept secret. We hope that incentivizing transparency of loans to governments would be useful both for market participants and the parliaments, media and people of the country concerned, and support in the wider effort to make governments more open. A motion in support of measures to increase transparency has been signed by 99 MPs in the UK parliament, and we are also discussing this with colleagues in New York. Almost 100% of government debts contracted under a law other than that of the borrowing state are in UK or New York law, so these are the two key jurisdictions.

Our proposal is that for a debt contract to be enforced under UK (or New York) law it would have to be publicly disclosed on a register at the time it is given. This would incentivise disclosure because the debt would be worth less, and less easy to be sold on, if it could not be enforced in the case of a debt default.

Intermediate steps towards this desired outcome would be the creation of a registry of loans to governments in an international body such as the IMF or UNCTAD, and a commitment by the G20 and/or UN Financing for Development process to work towards increasing transparency of loans to, and borrowing by, governments.

Category: Budgeting
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Author: cmlturner Date: 08 March 2018

The UK Government committed that all government departments should score ’good’ or ‘very good’ in the Aid Transparency Index (the Index) by 2020 (UK Aid Strategy, 2015). Publish What You Fund has produced the Index since 2011 to monitor and encourage progress in aid transparency.

 

Transparency enables the assessment of and accountability for how well DFID, other government departments (OGDs) and cross-government funds target Overseas Development Aid (ODA). Moreover, transparency in how aid is allocated and spent is the first step to ensuring that aid is publicly accountable and its effectiveness can be evaluated.

 

For ODA information to be transparent, departments allocating or disbursing aid must publish timely, comprehensive, disaggregated, forward-looking aid and development information in an open and comparable format.

 

In light of the increasing proportion of ODA disbursements being channelled through OGDs, this is a welcome commitment. In the fourth NAP, therefore, we would like to see this commitment to improve aid transparency by 2020 reinforced.

 

Moreover, if the UK Government is to meet this commitment, all OGDs must take steps to make their aid more transparent:

 

Where transparency has been measured previously, notably the Foreign & Commonwealth office (FCO) and Ministry of Defence (MOD) featured in the 2014 Index, the results were disappointing.  The remaining OGDs and cross-government funds that UK government departments operate, such as the Prosperity Fund and the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), have disclosed very little information on their operations to date.  

 

All OGDs should be called upon to publish strategies as soon as possible setting out how their departments and, where relevant, any cross government funds they operate will achieve ’good’ or ’very good’ transparency rankings. These could be linked to broader disclosure policies and should contain specific timelines and delivery targets.

 

Inclusion of this commitment in the fourth NAP will help to ensure that all government departments prioritise the action needed to meet this commitment. 

Category: Access to information
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Author: jayacg Date: 06 March 2018

The small print on this idea is: Empowering Civil Society & Civil Economy Data Custodians to increase transparency in UK Public Body Supply Chains
As an open data b-corp social enterprise, we've found it challenging to deliver on our promise to administer supply chain transparency provision in the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (section 54) because there is no easy way for Government departments to engage with non-government open data registers like ours (https://tiscreport.org). This is not an uncommon problem and has been encountered by many other open data initiatives. In order to accelerate progress and amplify impact on public-private-NFP data collaborations it would be good to find a way to certify trusted non-government data sources. This would give the market confidence to engage and would reduce the need to Government intervention. I just wish I could think of a catchier title...

Category: Open data
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Author: Racheler Date: 02 March 2018

The third UK National Action Plan included a commitment to collect more granular data on grantmaking in line with the 360Giving Standard and to share more granular data at scheme and award level (commitment 6). As of March 2018, two departments have started publishing their grants in line with the 360Giving Standard - the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Transport.

In the fourth NAP, we would like to see a commitment that all the data that was collected in line with the 360Giving Standard is now released for all central government departments. This data should include the recipient organisation - so its possible for citizens to see which organisations have received government grants, when, how much and what for. By releasing this data in the 360Giving Standard, it will be possible to compare the data with that from other grantmakers, including the lottery funders, charitable trusts and foundations and local authorities. This will allow people to see the grantmaking chain from end to end.

In addition, we would expect to see unique identifiers included in this data, as per the goverment's Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022 (see para 4.6): https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/667221/6_3323_Anti-Corruption_Strategy_WEB.pdf

Category: Open data
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Author: MLitvinoff@pwypuk.org Date: 01 March 2018

What is the idea?

The UK will maintain momentum on natural resource transparency at home and abroad by: (1) developing a requirement for extractive and trading companies to report payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals (commodity trading) as part of the UK mandatory reporting regime; (2) clarifying the content and format of mandatory payments to governments reporting required from UK-incorporated and UK-listed extractive companies; (3) creating a single open data repository for mandatory payments reports by UK-incorporated and UK-listed extractive companies; (4) extending the mandatory reporting regime to extractive companies traded on the AIM market; and (5) arranging for the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to introduce equivalent mandatory reporting standards.

 

Why is this important?

Corruption and fiscal mismanagement in the international natural resources (oil, gas and mining) sector have long been a major concern for governments, extractive companies, investors and civil society. The UK and other countries have achieved good progress in promoting natural resource transparency and accountability over the last 15 years, through both voluntary reporting under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and mandatory reporting rules now in force in the UK, across the EU, in Canada and in Norway, and awaiting implementation in the United States. But significant gaps remain in the scope and coverage of extractive companies’ disclosures of payments to governments and in the clarity and accessibility of the disclosed data.

 

This proposal would address five key weaknesses of the current mandatory payments reporting regime:

 

(1) The largest payment stream missing from mandatory disclosure is payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals (commodity trading), an area where corruption risk is acute. Governments’ and state owned enterprises’ sales of the state’s production share in the extractive industries are huge, typically US$ billions per year, and vulnerable to large-scale abuse. From 2011 to 2013, for example, the total value of sales by the national oil companies of Africa’s 10 top oil producers was equal to 56% of their combined government revenues and more than 10 times international aid to these countries. At company level, total payments to governments for oil and gas by Trafigura – the only company that currently voluntarily discloses commodity trading payments – amounted to US$21.2 billion in 2016, significantly more than the US$15.1 billion disclosed by Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, as total payments for its oil and gas extraction around the world in the same year.

 

(2) Extractive company reporting under UK transparency rules currently suffers from several deficiencies that clarification of the disclosures’ content and format of would ameliorate: (a) non-inclusion by at least 7 companies of their share of joint venture payments; (b) over-aggregation of projects by at least 7 companies; (c) non-identification of recipient government entities by at least 25 companies; (d) lack of volume data for, and over-aggregation of, in-kind payments by at least 4 companies; (e) failure of UK-listed extractive companies to report under revised requirements for financial year 2017 in both open machine-readable data and “human readable” format (the one company that has so far reported under the new requirements failed to provide open data).

 

(3) Accessibility issues impair stakeholders’ location and use of extractive companies’ UK disclosures. UK-incorporated companies report via a dedicated Companies House portal that provides no alphabetised index of reports. For UK-listed companies it can be even more difficult to find disclosures on the UK’s National Storage Mechanism (NSM), hosted by Morningstar. The NSM includes several hundred thousand company announcements on many subjects each year but has no dedicated index page for extractives disclosures and (unlike the Companies House portal) no Application Programming Interface (API) where users can gather disclosed data digitally.

 

(4) About 200 oil, gas and mining companies raise finance on the London Stock Exchange’s secondary AIM market, which is currently exempt from the UK payment disclosure rules. As a leading international growth market, AIM needs an appropriate level of payment transparency for its extractive companies.

 

(5) The UK together with its Overseas Territories (OTs) and Crown Dependencies (CDs) constitutes one of the world’s leading financial secrecy jurisdictions (see Tax Justice Network, Financial Secrecy Index 2018). Numerous extractive companies are incorporated in the OTs and CDs and currently not subject to payment disclosure rules in those jurisdictions. Similarly, the International Stock Exchange Group, based in the CDs, does not currently require listed extractive companies to report their payments to governments, creating a risk of “forum-shopping” by companies seeking to avoid application of the UK and EU rules.

 

How would it work?

The UK Government would take forward the five above elements individually and in parallel.

 

(1) Build on its commitment in the third National Action Plan, and on UK-led discussions at OECD level, by introducing a new mandatory reporting requirement for UK-incorporated and UK-listed extractive and trading companies to report payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals (commodity trading) under the Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014.

 

(2) Introduce clarificatory guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014 requiring companies to: (a) report their proportionate share of joint venture payments made either directly or indirectly on their behalf by a joint venture operator or other entity, including any payments to state owned enterprises acting as joint venture operator; (b) aggregate two or more project agreements for reporting purposes only where these agreements (i) are both operationally and geographically integrated, (ii) have substantially similar terms and (iii) are signed with the same government; (c) identify by name each national or subnational government entity to which a payment has been made, rather than provide only the country name or only identify the level of government generically; (d) state both the value and the volume of each in-kind (non-cash) payment reported and avoid aggregating in a single figure cash and in-kind payments, or in-kind payments for different commodities. (e) For UK-listed extractive companies, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) would clarify under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules that transparency disclosures are required to be in both open machine-readable data format and “human readable” format.

 

(3) Companies House, the FCA and the NSM/Morningstar would create a single joint open data repository for mandatory payments reports by UK-incorporated and UK-listed extractive companies, equipped with an Application Programming Interface (API) where users can gather disclosed data digitally.

 

(4) The FCA would work with the London Stock Exchange to incorporate mandatory reporting of payments to governments as a requirement for AIM-traded extractive companies, updating AIM’s current Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies (2009) accordingly.

 

(5) The UK Government would open a dialogue with the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies about introducing mandatory public disclosure rules for their registered and publicly listed extractive companies, and if necessary after a reasonable passage of time introduce legislation requiring them to implement such rules.

 

Category: Anti-corruption
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Author: rachel.davies@transparency.org.uk Date: 28 February 2018

UK authorities should publish clear data on an annual basis about assets linked to grand corruption that have been frozen, seized or confiscated in the UK, and assets that have been repatriated. The UK should also consider developing a public national database of asset recovery relating to grand corruption;

Category: Anti-corruption
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Author: rachel.davies@transparency.org.uk Date: 28 February 2018

Why is it important? – MPs are required to publish the details of their financial interests in order to make transparent anything that “might reasonably be thought by others to influence a Members’ actions, speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in his or her capacity as a Member of Parliament”. This transparency is intended to protect against conflicts of interest or undue influence that might result in members putting their private interests over those of the public’s.

 

At the moment the Commons' Register of Members' Financial Interests (RMFI) is not collected, stored or published as structured open data. This means:

  • Members are at increased risk of technical non-compliance with the rules e.g. forgetting to include the dates for outside employment, because the process by which this information is collected allows them to omit these details.
  • It is extremely time-consuming to collect and analyse potential conflicts of interest or undue influence, which is the intention of the register. For example, it could take weeks to collect and analyse trips paid for by a secretive lobby group connected to a hostile government over time. If this was collected, stored and published as structured open data this kind of question should be answerable in seconds.
  • It is extremely time-consuming for constituents to understand anything regarding the aggregation of their MPs’ financial interests. This inhibits constituents’ ability to hold their MP to account. For example, it could take weeks for a constituent to collect and tally how much time their MP spends on outside employment, or how much they earn from second jobs. If this was collected, stored and published as structured open data this kind of question should be answerable in seconds.

How would it work? – This is about improving Parliament’s processes and data storage and would require no legislative change. Broadly, it would involve:

  • Mapping-out a data model for the RMFI and checking it with the relevant clerks to ensure it accurately reflects the Code of Conduct for MPs
  • Consulting users to understand their needs when entering MPs’ financial interests
  • Developing and user-testing the new system
  • Providing a programme of advice and guidance ahead of a full roll-out
  • Full roll-out
  • Post-implementation evaluation and improvement
Category: Parliament
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Author: Open Government Network Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants in the Bristol workshop. As it also relates closely to ideas on open contracting (ideas 31 and 6), these will be considered all together.

What is the idea?

-> Support expansion of Open Contracting rules to local government
-Scoping study support fund on local contracting (e.g. in 10 UK cities)
-Improved national metrics
-Empowering the Information Commissioner’s Office
-Extending FOI for contractors
-Improved model contract clauses

Why is it important?

To build on existing commitments related to open contracting from previous action plans.

There are more details here: http://www.timdavies.org.uk/2018/02/02/where-next-for-open-contracting-in-the-uk

Category: Contracting
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants in Huddersfield workshop at #NotWestminster.

What is the idea?

- Create tools for local councils to produce budgets in transparent and comparable manner.
- More accessible budget (visualisations, jargon-less language)
- Budget meetings (in person meetings to explain budgets to citizens)
- Independent impact assessments, scrutiny reports

Why is it important?

It is hard to understand and engage with local council budgets. They are on pdfs, not in comparable across councils, there is little information about how budgets are spent, or where the money is dedicated (other than top line categories).

Category: Local government
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants in the Birmingham workshop. As it also relates closely to ideas on open contracting (ideas 33 and 6), these will be considered all together.

What is the idea?

-> Open by default contracting procedures
-> Develop Contracting Openness Measure and Ranking to gauge the transparency of a supplier therefore more transparent suppliers should be preferred.
-> Value the triple bottom line (Community & environment benefit / community / environment cost) (see: http://www.economist.com/node/14301663 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_bottom_line)
-> introduce citizen engagement to the contracting process.

Why is it important?

It is important that procurement processes have principles of data driven, open reporting, and open decision making at its core. As such they should be open by default, unless special reasons not to do so. Triple bottom line would ensure that the value of a contract is not only measured financially, but also according to local or community impact and environmental impact etc. This makes is a more rounded procurement process and better impact. Also need to ensure designing services so that the problem to be solved is actually solved effectively. Public contractor would adhere to open principles in public realm contracts- at both local and national level.

This will help to develop accountability.
It will increase the utilization of expenditure so it is not sucked out of local economies.
It will help to challenge poor practice.
It will ensure a more engaged system.
It will help to develop community and local economy.

Category: Contracting
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was develope by participants in the Sheffield workshop.

What is the idea?

-> The classification of documents to restrict FOI publication must have detailed justifications.

Why is it important?

It needs to be easier for officials to publish information when requested without Ministerial interference. The aim is to reduce the scope for over-controlling the flow of data/information for political reasons, to the public sphere.

Category: Access to information
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants at the Leeds workshop.

What is the idea?

-> Demographic data of contributors to local consultation processes should be proactively published along with feedback. This would accompany government recommendations on how to improve next time.

Why is it important?

It is important there are alternative, critical voices present at consultation processes (not just the same faces). Local government should do more to demonstrate working with local communities, businesses, and citizens in general, in decision making processes. This will help ensure more effective engagement, and civic renewal. It should lead to better decision making overall.

Category: Access to information
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants in the Manchester workshop

What is the idea?

-> Extend FOI rules to suppliers of procurement tenders.
-> Extend the model transparency clause

Why is it important?

It will make private contractors which deliver public services more accountable If private contractors are receiving public money for public service provision, they should be subject to the same transparency rules as a publically run public service. Transparency rules should be an obligation as part of their contracts and be a condition that private companies must accept.

Category: Access to information
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants at the Manchester workshop.

What is the idea?

-> All outsourced services at local or national level should be easy to identify and should somewhere explain how they are delivering the service (goals/objectives of contract should be clearly communicated)
-> Mechanisms to enable citizen-service provider dialogue
-> There needs to be a register of service providers which has a clear identification system and data that is comparable.

Why is this important?

There needs to be clear accountability mechanisms in place, which start with transparency, for private contractors for the decisions they make which affect public service provision. All mechanisms for dialogue between private companies delivering public services, and the public should be clearly available and easy to engage in/use. There needs to be greater accountability over who is responsible for when contracts are not fully met.

Category: Public services
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Author: andreas@involve.org.uk Date: 26 February 2018

This idea was developed by participants in the Bristol workshop.

What is the idea?

-> Produce national budget-spend audit trail to follow the money spent by government
-> All budget spending should have a unique identifier that is transmitted to all objects relating to spending so that a complete trail can be made between budget commitment and amount spent.

Why is it important?

Government promises it spends millions on certain projects, but there is no way to follow this. This can help to show where national government projects are fed (or not) through to local government for implementation/spending of this money.

Category: Access to information
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