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Government to create anti-corruption innovation hub

Together with nine other countries, the UK government will create an anti-corruption innovation hub to share innovation and best practice

The UK government has published its open government national action plan, which includes committing to an Open Contracting Data Standard (ODCS) by October 2016 and creating an anti-corruption innovation hub. 

The UK government will spearhead work on a cross-government anti-corruption innovation hub, which aims to “connect social innovators, technology experts and data scientists with law enforcement, business and civil society” to work together on innovations on anti-corruption.

The hub will be a collaboration between the UK and nine other countries, including Norway, France, Mexico and Ghana, and it will be incubated by the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said corruption is a “global problem that requires co-ordinated action”.

“The UK is determined to lead the fight against corruption, which is why we are committing ourselves to increasing transparency, introducing additional criminal checks, and creating an anti-corruption hub,” he said.

The government is already in talks with several organisations – such as Vodafone, Thompson Reuters and Transparency International – on the hub, which is supported by the Omidyar Network.

The action plan also includes a reiteration of the government’s commitment to ODCS, initially made in 2014, which aims to give the government the tools to open and share their procurement data. 

From October 2016, all contracts administered by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) will be visible to the public from beginning to end. 

“Open contracting enables disclosure of all data and documents at all stages of the contracting process,” the government said.

“It supports organisations to increase contracting transparency, and allows deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.”

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The OCDS will first be trialled by HS2 before being rolled out to the rest of government.

The government has also committed to creating a “high quality national information infrastructure”, with the aim to make government data more secure and easier to find and access.

“We need to continue to establish the infrastructure to make finding and accessing good quality data as frictionless as possible,” the plan said.

In an interview with Computer Weekly earlier in 2016, Hancock said he “loves” open data and that the quality of the data sets is key. 

“The quality matters. Making sure that they are mashable, machine readable and not published in PDFs is important,” he said.

 Other commitments made in the plan include better use of data assets and involving users to shape the future of open data through public events and online collaborations.

“As government’s use of data develops and expands, this engagement will need to be active and ongoing, and must involve the full spectrum of holders and users of government data,” the plan said.

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