Accountable and Responsible Disclosure of Financial Open Government Data: Open Spending Initiatives enhancing Civic Engagement
Mulder, A.W. (Bert)
Hartog, M.W. (Martijn)
- Publisher: International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS)
This research focuses an optimal arrangement of open spending as added instrumental value to the accountability incommunicating financial information towards citizens within The Netherlands. Open Spending is more and more of relevance in the Netherlands and is addressed as one of the key action points in the Open Government Partnership Action plan of The Netherlands. In order to adequately communicate financial information towards citizens, 5 arrangement variables of accountability (transparency, liability, verifiability, responsibility and responsiveness) as defined by Jonathan Koppell where explored and extended with the notion of social accountability. As social accountability mechanisms are geared towards public expenditure management processes - mechanisms that seek to directly involve ordinary citizens in processes of allocating, disbursing, monitoring and evaluating the use of public resources - have proved very effective since it is this resource flow that puts policy into action. From a viewpoint of the ‘Civic Engagement Model’ created by The World Bank, we reflected on the current formats of accountability in a focus group with six key actors from amongst others Dutch Ministries, Open State Foundation, Provinces and Municipalities and verified afterwards with delegates of the Open Knowledge Foundation. After empirical analyses current initiatives surrounding open spending within The Netherlands are lacking a clear goal, content and format and an adequate completion on a National level. This research also showed a twofold goal for further open spending developments, on one hand generating social accountability, civic engagement and clarifying financial Open Government Data by providing contextualised information.