Guest blog: 2015 Open Government Awards

20 May 2015, 7:12 pm

By Kitty von Bertele, Head of Policy & International Team, Transparency & Open Data Team, Cabinet Office

Cabinet Office is inviting nominations for the 2015 Open Government Awards. We want to recognise the reformers up and down the country that are helping make government more open, accountable and responsive to citizens. And local government is at the heart of these efforts.

Ketty von Bertele, Head of Policy & International Team, Transparency & Open Data TeamIn March the Minister for the Cabinet Office invited 16 local and regional authorities to Whitehall who are setting the standard in open data and transparency. These exemplar authorities are putting data back into the hands of citizens and enabling different kinds of participation and interaction with government.

They have shown that transparency can open up new possibilities for public service improvement.

The theme of this year’s Open Government Awards is Improving Public Services through Open Government and this is a great opportunity to showcase the innovative work that is taking place across local government. Public services are a key interface between government and citizens, and local authorities are rethinking the role of citizens in the design, delivery and evaluation of services.

We want to demonstrate how these initiatives are creating real improvements in the quality and effectiveness of public service delivery. We are particularly interested in initiatives that have expanded access to public services or benefited vulnerable populations, by putting the user at the centre and responding to their needs.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance. In each of the 65 countries participating in the OGP, government and civil society are working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms.

As chair of the OGP in 2013 the UK helped launch this annual international award because we want to shine a light on the great ideas and unique experiences of other countries to help drive progress at home.

We are asking civil society organisations, central and local government, businesses and citizens to tell us about great examples of where public services have been improved through open government.

Once we have received all your ideas, we will look through them and score them against the criteria below. We will then select the best UK example to put forward. OGP judges will score and comment on each country’s application and the winning teams will be invited to attend the Global Summit in Mexico City in October 2015.

We don’t need you to fill out a form – just tell us about it via email ( or twitter (@UKTransparency). It would be great if you could include a link to any further information and a few words on how it meets the criteria below. We can then get back in touch with you with any follow-up questions.

Each example that we receive will be reviewed against the following criteria:

Core criterion
Find an initiative that demonstrates an improvement in public services. Good quality and effective public services respond to the needs of people, including vulnerable groups, and form the foundation of inclusive development.

Must be institutionalised within government, in partnership with civil society.

Project suitability
Seeks to improve public services in terms of quality and effectiveness.
Provides evidence that the initiative was able to expand access to public services to a larger population than before.

Had a clear population that benefitted.
Improved a specific service or set of services.
Solicited regular input and feedback from citizens to improve quality and/or accountability in public service delivery.


The deadline for nominations is Friday 29 May.