From Russia with Opacity

By Joseph Marks

May 20, 2013

Russia has officially withdrawn a letter of intent it filed in April 2012 saying it would join the Open Government Partnership, becoming the international transparency body’s first casualty.

Open government and technology blogger Alex Howard broke the news of Russia’s withdrawal from the OGP on Friday. Nathaniel Heller, whose organization Global Integrity manages the OGP’s Web presence, confirmed the withdrawal to Nextgov on Monday and said OGP would be posting a note about it shortly.

More than 50 nations have joined OGP since it was launched by the U.S. and Brazil on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in 2011.

Russia’s departure could be good or bad news for the relatively new international body.

The organization has no formal regulations for who can and can’t be a member. It has struggled to find a middle ground -- one in which it is open to any nation that is interested in making government information or operations more transparent but also doesn’t let the term transparency fizzle into nothing.

Howard has a good rundown of both Russia’s well-documented opacity in terms of government operations and some surprising openness when it comes to government data that might fuel economic growth. 

(Image via Kingan/Shutterstock.com)


By Joseph Marks

May 20, 2013

http://www.govexec.comhttp://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/emerging-tech-blog/2013/05/russia-opacity/63293/