Boosting transparency, accountability through information technology

(Stock image for illustration purposes) The adoption of information technology (IT) by the public sector is one of the means to improve services.

OF late there have been several accountability studies involving private and public delivery services

For the government, public services delivery is the ultimate concern. The adoption of information technology (IT) by the public sector is one of the means to improve services.

IT promotes public services provided and disseminates information on websites to improve the government’s transparency and accountability.

Accountability is closely related to openness and transparency. To achieve this, disclosures are necessary for all materials regarding the organisation, financial situation, performance, ownership and in particular, governance of the organisation.

The desire for openness, transparency and accountability has prompted the government to use open data to improve public delivery services.

The Public Sector Open Data Portal launched by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) in September 2015 is one of the initiatives to enhance transparency and create innovation in digital technology, which will improve accountability.

In 2016, Mampu, in a long-term collaboration with the World Bank, implemented the Open Data Readiness Assessment (Odra) to advance the initiative for Open Government Data.

This also means Malaysia became the first Asean country to implement Odra to assess the readiness to adopt open data.

The Public Service Department is implementing practical approaches to enhance the distribution of information to the masses.

The government has also launched several online portals for the local government, for example, the Public Service Portal (myGovernment), the e-Local Government (e-PBT) system and the OSC Online under Smart Local Government Governance Agenda.

All these portals are aimed at improving public service delivery by increasing the speed and quality of online services.

More needs to be done to improve the accountability of local governments.

By Associate Prof Dr Saunah Zainon.

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