Press release

Matt Hancock pledges greater transparency and effective open data

Matt Hancock highlights the importance of promoting transparency and fighting corruption across the world, during a visit to South Africa.

Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, joined ministers from other countries at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) steering committee meeting to discuss their commitment to making governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.

The UK is a world leader on open data, recently being ranked first in the world on the World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer. The UK government is committed to being the most open and transparent government in history – remaining at the forefront of a global transparency revolution that is changing governments for the better. The UK recently surpassed 27,000 datasets of published data on

The UK was the first country to commit to a publicly available register of information about the real owners of companies and is a Lead Steward for the International Open Data Charter. This builds on the G8 Open Data Charter, with principles for the release of open data that all governments can adopt. We are now working with civil society on the UK’s third Open Government Action Plan to take our transparency plans even further.

The UK will host an international Anti-Corruption Summit on 12 May. As well as agreeing a package of actions to tackle corruption across the board, it will deal with issues including corporate secrecy, government transparency, the enforcement of international anti-corruption laws, and the strengthening of international institutions.

This is the first summit of its kind, bringing together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps to expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide, punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption and drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists.

Find out more about the Anti-Corruption Summit.

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, Matt Hancock, said:

The UK is a leader on transparency. I’m proud to be here supporting this very important agenda.

In the UK we are completely rethinking how we use and open up our data to benefit the citizens we serve. We are the most transparent government ever, using the best data to develop the best services for citizens.

By releasing more data, we are also helping our companies prosper by creating new services for the public such as apps to reduce travel time and every day we get better at publishing more data for businesses.

Increasing openness and tackling corruption are 2 sides of the same coin. Corruption is a huge challenge. Next week the UK will host our first ever Anti-Corruption Summit where we will step up global action to expose, punish and drive out corruption in all walks of life.

During his visit, Matt Hancock also spoke at a Going Global event, an open forum for education world leaders to debate international higher and further education issues and challenges. The minister highlighted UK contributions to collaboration and innovation in international education, speaking about the UK’s commitment to globally enhance the reach and quality of higher education for all.

Notes for editors

Open Government Partnership

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. Since then, OGP has grown from 8 countries to 69 participating countries. In all of these countries, government and civil society are working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms. To become a member of OGP, participating countries must endorse a high-level Open Government Declaration, deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation, and commit to independent reporting on their progress going forward.

South Africa is currently chairing the OGP, and the Africa Regional Meeting is taking place from 4 to 6 May.

Going Global

Held by the British Council, Going Global, now in its 12th year, is the largest open conference for higher education leaders. After great success in the Middle East (2013), Americas (2014) and London last year, we are bringing this leading forum to Africa for the first time.

Going Global is expecting more than 800 VCs, Pro-VCs, Presidents, Rectors, Ministers and Chief Executives from around 75 countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, China and Ukraine.

Speakers will include Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister for Higher Education and Her Excellency, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka