A new model for effective and efficient open government data
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Open government data (OGD) is attracting stakeholders from different backgrounds. The call for OGD has been especially pronounced in the last 6 or 7 years. OGD demand accelerated after the launch of the US OGD initiative portal in 2009, followed by the UK in 2010. Before that, the availability and accessibility of government data were limited to certain executives and few government employees, whereas for others, it was either partially available or completely unavailable. Publishing government data, thereby making it available to the public, could be useful in many ways such as increasing transparency and accountability in governments, increasing overall efficiency and performance, encouraging publics’ engagement, and achieving trust and reputation. As an example of the role that OGD may provide, this paper compares the different financial reporting and auditing systems in the public sector between Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Also, the paper examines OGD initiatives among different countries with the focus of the Republic of Brazil and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s open data portals. Moreover, it assesses the level of data transparency based on the definition of the open data model, and more importantly, the paper suggests new dimensions to the open data concept when utilized by governments. In addition, it argues that the OGD in Saudi Arabia, which is an emerging initiative in a country that has centralized power, could be improved dramatically. We demonstrate by using a sample of procurement contracts data taken from the Council of Saudi Chambers Web site, which is publicly available and shows the potential of monitoring or auditing public spending.
KeywordsFinancial reporting Auditing Open government data Data transparency Saudi Arabia Effective and efficient governments
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