conference logo

Playlist "May Contain Hackers 2022"

Democracy: Eventually Digitally Transparent?

Sicco van Sas

Governments should be radically more transparent. While calls for more open data and initiatives like the Open Government Partnership have existed for more than a decade, there is still much to be desired. Where do we stand? And, fun to imagine, where could and should we go?

It is hard to have a perfect overview of the status of open government across the world. We at [Open State Foundation]( focus mostly on accelerating digital transparency in the Netherlands. We will explain things like:

- Why is the **Handelsregister** (company register) still only fully accessible for those with a lot of money?
- Why are **Wob-verzoeken** (Freedom of Information requests) on average not answered within the legal deadline?
- How transparent are the **external meetings of ministers** and who do they talk to?

On the other hand we show why the Netherlands is a great place if you want to know how your municipalities spend their money or want to access national statistics.

Still there is much to learn from other countries:
- **How does Norway manage their information so well** that they respond to Freedom of Information requests much faster?
- What country has **a minister that deals in the most open way with lobbyists**?
- Can governments produce **modern open source software**?
These examples can show us a future of a digitally transparent democracy.

We end the talk by opening up the floor to the audience and love to hear about positive examples of transparent forms of governments around the world.