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Open Government Data for Tackling
Corruption – A Perspective
Nidhi Rajashree, Biplav Srivastava
IBM Research – India
Semantic Cities Workshop @ AAAI, Toronto, Canada
July 2012
Outline
• Corruption
– Good or Bad
– Factors
– Case Study
• Open Data for Corruption
– Difference from economic growth focus
– Call for Action
Corruption
“the misuse of public office for personal gains”
“as an act of bribery involving a public servant
and a transfer of tangible resources”
“Corruption = Monopoly + Discretion –
Accountability”
“An act x performed by an agent A is an act of institutional corruption if and only if:
1. x has an effect, E1, of undermining, or contributing to the undermining of, some institutional process and/or purpose of
some institution, I, and/or an effect, Ec, of contributing to the despoiling of the moral character of some role occupant
ofI, agent B, qua role occupant of I;
2. At least one of (a) or (b) is true:
a) A is a role occupant of I, and in performing x, A intended or foresaw E1 and/or Ec, or A should have
foreseen E1and/or Ec;
b) There is a role occupant of I, agent B, and B could have avoided Ec, if B had chosen to do so.[19]
Note that (2)(a) tells us that A is a corruptor and is, therefore, either (straightforwardly) morally responsible for the corrupt
action, or A is not morally responsible for A's corrupt character and the corrupt action is an expression of A's corrupt
character.”
Source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/corruption/
Corruption Perception Index (2011)
*
Source: http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/
Shades of Corruption
• Bribery
– payment made in money or kind and can be initiated either by
the public servant or the beneficiary. It can be extortionary,
collusive or anticipatory
• Favoritism & Nepotism
– a mechanism of power abuse implying privatization and highly
biased distribution of state resources, no matter how these
resources have been accumulated in the first place.
• Embezzlement
– theft of government property and resources by people who are
entrusted upon to take care of it.
Factor conducive for Corruption
•
•
•
•
•
Lack of awareness
Lack of proper Service-Level Agreements
Lax supervision and monitoring of staff performance
Discretion
Absence of appropriate grievance redressal
mechanisms
• Obsolete policies
Tackling Corruption
• Lack of awareness
• can be removed by clearly specifying the guidelines and information about the
services.
• Lack of proper SLAs
• can be taken care by a time bound service can be easily tracked by the citizens
if the information is freely available hence empowering them to seek penalty
when the SLA is missed.
• Lack of accountability, supervision
• can be improved through institutional diagnostics such as periodic or social
auditing which can be facilitated by well documented information at disposal.
• Discretion
• can also be kept under check if these subjective decisions are well
documented and hence available for review.
• Grievance mechanisms and obsolete policies need to be directly
addressed
India: (Mahatma Gandhi) National Rural
Employment Guarantee Program
• Indian job guarantee scheme, enacted by legislation on August 25,
2005.
• NREGA is an Indian job guarantee scheme, enacted as law in 2005.
• Designed as a safety net to reduce migration by rural poor households
in the lean period.
– A hundred days of guaranteed unskilled manual labour provided when
demanded at minimum wage
– works focused on water conservation, land development & drought
proofing
• Finances
– Statutory minimum wage of Rs 120 (US$2.39) per day at2009 prices.
– The Central government outlay for scheme is 40,000 crore (US$7.98 billion) in FY
2010–11
• Mired in complaints of corruption
References
• http://nrega.nic.in
•http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi_National_Rural_Employment_Guarantee_Act
8
NREGA Key Processes
Application for job card
Prone to
corruption
Selection of works
Approval of shelf of
projects
Verification
Issue of job card
Informing village PRI
Demand for employment
Prone to
corruption
Work allocation
Acknowledgement of
demand
Preparation of estimates
And approvals
ICT based
transparency
ICT based
transparency
Maintenance of muster roll
Payment of wages
Prone to
corruption
Adapted from deck: [PPT]
NREGA Implementation [Presentation to NAC]
nrega.nic.in/presentations/implement_NREGA.ppt
9
Open Government Data
Open Gov. Data for Economic Growth is Well Known
(Initiatives Across the World)
From Google Maps
 Local or regional governmental




authorities
Local or regional private
initiatives
Nationwide governmental
authorities
Nationwide private initiatives
Multilateral / Transnational
initiatives
 Open Government Data policies would increase direct business activity by up to €40 billion per year
(0.3% of EU's GDP) and overall benefit could be up to €200 billion per year (1.7% of GDP)
 Open data could generate £6 billion of added value to the UK economy
*
Source: World Map of Open Government Data Initiatives, Google Maps, the underlying world map is released under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 3.0 Austria) by Semantic Web
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Company (www.semantic-web.at) (accessed October 3, 2011)
Open Government Data
Helps Sustain Economic
Growth
By Reducing Corruption and Increasing
Competitiveness
 Open govt data leads to transparency
 With transparency, it is easy to establish
accountability
 Both together help tackle corruption
• Corruption : “Monopoly + Discretion –
Accountability” (Klitgaard, Robert E. Controlling
corruption. Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1988)
Call for Action
• Governments should
– come out with data sharing/ disclosure policies, and
• Example: USA - US Executive Order 13556, Controlled Unclassified Information, At
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-pressoffice/2010/11/04/executive-order-controlled-unclassifiedinformation
• Example: India - National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) at
http://dst.gov.in/NDSAP.pdf
– implement them!
• Industry and standardization bodies can help
–
–
–
–
by documenting best practices,
building necessary tools
using open standards, and
reporting case studies.