RPT-Most governments conceal data despite G20 pledges, study says - TRFN
(Repeats to fix typo in penultimate paragraph)
By Kieran Guilbert
LONDON, Jan 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Myanmar, Haiti and Mali were ranked the least open and transparent countries in a global index of government data released on Tuesday, which found that most governments do not make official data openly available to the public.
Despite pledges by the G7 and G20 to improve transparency in government data, which could help reduce corruption and improve state services, data remained locked away from public view in more than 90 percent of nations surveyed, The Web Foundation said.
Eighty-six countries were ranked in the Open Data Barometer on how readily their governments make data available, including information on government budgets and spending, public sector contracts, company ownership, health services and education.
Open data refers to data that is proactively published, and made available without charge, in readable file formats and without restrictions on use.
The United Kingdom topped the rankings for the second consecutive year, followed by the United States, Sweden, France and New Zealand.
"In our digital age, opening up raw government data to everyone, free of charge, is a great way to put power in the hands of citizens," said Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the Web Foundation.
"Yet this research indicates that governments continue to shy away from publishing the very data that can be used to enhance accountability and trust," he said. The Foundation is dedicated to the improvement and availability of the Web. Continuación...