Press release

Open Government Partnership: UK Government delivering greater transparency

The government has today announced that it is delivering on its promises to increase transparency by demonstrating significant progress in its Open Government National Action Plan of 2013-15.

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Eighteen out of twenty-one commitments have been completed, including working to introduce a new criminal offence of police corruption, and abolishing bearer shares in order to make it harder for criminals to launder the proceeds of corruption.

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office, welcomed the work that has been done and outlined that the Government is committed to keeping transparency at the heart of its approach to government. He said:

Trust in government is the most important part of the relationship between the citizen and the state.

Being open and transparent is crucial to that relationship. We have taken bold steps to get us to the top of the worldwide transparency league table, but we want to accelerate our efforts to do better still.

The National Action Plan sets out concrete commitments on open government which have been developed and implemented with the active engagement of citizens and civil society.

Highlights include:

  • Creating a publicly accessible central register of company beneficial ownership information, containing details about who ultimately owns and controls UK companies in order to tackle the misuse of companies and other legal entities.
  • Publishing a revised Local Authorities Data Transparency Code requiring local authorities to publish key information and data. This will place more power into citizens’ hands and make it easier for local people to contribute to the decision-making process and help shape public service.
  • Becoming the most transparent social investment market in the OGP (Open Government Partnership) and G20. According to Big Society Capital, at the end of 2015 social investment in the UK was worth more than £1.5 billion and is supporting over 3,000 charities and social enterprises.

Further information

The 2013-15 National Action Plan was launched by the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, alongside the Open Government Partnership Summit in London on 31 October 2013, and ran until the end of 2015. This report will inform the Open Government Partnership’s independent assessment of the Government’s progress.

The government’s third action plan, containing 13 commitments, was published in May 2016 alongside the Anti-Corruption Summit held in London.

The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative of 70 countries that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency; empower citizens; fight corruption; and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

Today’s update is available for download here

Published 14 October 2016