APEC Members Share Open Data and Fiscal Transparency Practices

Date Originally Published: September 11, 2015
Date Republished: October 13, 2017

Today, the Open Data Philippines Task Force, together with the Department of Finance, published the Reference of Open Data and Fiscal Transparency Practices in the Asia Pacific, a compilation of open data programs among APEC member economies.

The Reference is being shared with the public on the same day as the ceremonial launching of the Cebu Action Plan, which marks the culmination of the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) in Cebu. The document is a deliverable under the Action Plan’s Advancing Fiscal Reforms and Transparency pillar. As championed by the Department of Finance (DOF), the practice of open data has been continually discussed throughout the year-long meetings under the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP). With the support of the finance ministries of other economies, it was agreed that the members would share experiences in implementing open data initiatives, especially those that deal with fiscal openness.

In support of this agreement, and as it was decided that open data would be adopted as an initiative in the Cebu Action Plan, the APEC FMP hosted a Workshop on Fiscal Management through Transparency and Reforms in Bagac, Bataan, last June 9-10, 2015.

To further surface existing open data and fiscal transparency practices in the region, the Task Force was tapped to engage not only finance ministries, but also its open data counterparts among APEC member economies. The aim was to create a Reference compiling descriptions of overarching open data practices and also specific initiatives on fiscal transparency.

The APEC member economies that submitted entries to the Reference include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chinese Taipei, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. Each entry submitted outlines the program’s description, online resources, milestones or key accomplishments, key challenges, lessons learned, recommendations, and relevant contact information.

The Task Force presented four initiatives in the Reference: Open Data Philippines, the Open Bottom-up Budgeting Portal, the Local Government Unit (LGU) Fiscal Sustainability Scorecard, and the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH).

Furthermore, the Reference also contains entries of global platforms whose work revolves around open governance, open data, and fiscal transparency. These include the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), Open Contracting Partnership, and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Lastly, the document offers online references that could be of use to aspiring and current open data practitioners, such as links to APEC member economies’ open government data portals, reports and case studies, tools, organizations, and many others.

It is envisioned that this Reference will be updated over time to accommodate updates and new entries and facilitate bilateral or multilateral engagements among members to share and learn from each other’s experiences.