OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

12/06/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2019 05:17

OSCE-supported regional workshop on the use of open data and new digital technologies to prevent and combat corruption held in Skopje

Government representatives, civil society members, and open data experts from Eastern and South Eastern Europe emphasized the importance of the use of open data and new digital technologies in preventing and combating corruption at an OSCE-organized workshop on 2 and 3 December 2019 in Skopje.

The Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) organized the workshop in collaboration with the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative (SECI).

Participants shared examples of good practices on how to leverage digital tools for their anti-corruption and good governance agendas. They discussed different approaches of addressing corruption through digitalization of public services, accessibility of open data, monitoring and evaluation.

They also discussed how to draw on opportunities and address challenges found in the work and projects of public administration agencies and civil society in the region. Case studies and good practices from Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and others were presented.

'One of the most important aspects in relation to today's workshop, and how digitalization could contribute to the fight against corruption, is the 'Open Finance' platform, which was launched in North Macedonia in November this year,' said Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje Clemens Koja.

'The platform allows citizens and interested stakeholders to freely access all financial transactions from the treasury. The Government's transparency and openness are not only declarative commitments, but a demonstration of its political will to make progress in this area,' said Koja. Transparency and openness are the first step in fighting corruption, and this is the shift we all want to see.'

Shannon Runyon, the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in North Macedonia, said: 'Creating more open and reliable governance will not only advance the country's aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration, but will strengthen the bond with citizens by making government more responsive to the needs of citizens; attracting businesses and investors who are looking to invest in countries with reliable rule of law and more transparent ways of doing business.'

The workshop was organized within the framework of the extra-budgetary project Promoting Good Governance and Enhancing Anti-corruption Efforts in the OSCE Area through the Use of Open Data and New Digital Technologies, funded by the United States Department of State.