U.S. to Host July Meeting of Open Government Effort

10 June 2011

The United States on July 12 will host a meeting of the now nine-nation Open Government Partnership, at which time the coalition is expected to reveal more about the effort.

Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, is the primary U.S. representative for the coalition, announced by President Obama last year (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)  Brazil is the other co-chair of the effort, represented by Jorge Hage, Comptroller General.

The general plan is to invite other countries to  make transparency pledges in September, as Otero sketched in a May speech.

Another brief example of how the United States is embracing our role as a catalyst is through the Open Government Partnership – a unique partnership among civil society, private technology companies, and governments. The initiative, which I am heading up with Samantha Power at the White House, calls on governments to “govern better” – by being more transparent and more accountable to their citizens. In this context, the use of new technologies—like SMS and open source software—can help address age-old challenges of corruption and lagging civic participation in governance. For example, governments can post official salaries on the internet or in public forums, and citizens can weigh into public debates via text message.

The U.S. sits on the steering committee of this initiative with eight other democratic nations, and in September we will invite over 80 nations to stand with President Obama and heads of states as they pledge their commitment to the principles of open government and actions to achieve them.

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