Gartner Blog Network

With Perfect Timing, UK Audit Office Review Warns Open Government Enthusiasts

by Andrea Di Maio  |  April 18, 2012  |  2 Comments

Right in the middle of the Open Government Partnership conference, which I mentioned in my post yesterday, the UK National Audit Office (NAO) published its cross-government review on Implementing Transparency.

The report, while recognizing the importance and the potential for open data initiatives, highlights a few areas of concern that should be taken quite seriously by the OGP conference attendees, most of which are making open data more a self-fulfilling prophecy than an actual tool for government transparency and transformation.

The tone of the review is well represented by the first paragraph of its conclusions:

The strategic case for greater transparency is strong . It is to do with more than satisfy public rights to public information, however, and contribute fully to objectives set for it including accountability, service improvements, and growth, then the Government needs a firmer grip on measuring the success of the initiative

The areas of concern highlighted in the review are an insufficient attention to assess costs, risks and benefits of transparency, the variation in completeness of information and the mixed progress. While the two latter can improve with greater maturity, it is the first time that requires the most attention.

To the risk of sounding self-referential, I have been saying this for a long time (see previous posts about risks, costs and benefits), often getting annoyed replies and reactions by open government supporters who have often challenged my skepticism and even the rigor of my analysis.

I hope that people will take the UK NAO review more seriously than my blog (and rightly so) and start asking themselves fundamental questions about how the most value out of these initiatives.

For Gartner clients, a few reminders to prior research (login required) that may help navigate through some of these issues:

Category: open-government-data  

Tags: open-government  uk  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
15 years at Gartner
28 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies strategies, Web 2.0, open government, cloud computing, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

Thoughts on With Perfect Timing, UK Audit Office Review Warns Open Government Enthusiasts

  1. […] With Perfect Timing, UK Audit Office Review Warns Open Government Enthusiasts […]

  2. […] Audit Office gave a great contribution, as well as wake up calls, on both shared services and open data. Let’s hope the Cabinet Office listens, and focus some of its attention on how individual […]

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.