Open Governments are built on two things:
information and participation.
A government that is open, actively discloses information
about what it does with its money and resources in a way
that all citizens can understand.
Equally important, an Open Government is one that actively 
involves all citizens to be participants in government
decision-making. This two-way relationship between citizens
and governments, in which governments and citizens share
information with one another and work together, is the
foundation of Open Government. 

Open by design. Over openheid, informatietechnologie, slimme steden en (vooral) slimme burgers
Lectorale rede, uitgesproken op 15 april 2015, Saxion Deventer
door dr. Frans Jorna, lector Governance, Kenniscentrum Leefomgeving, Saxion.


Onafhankelijk Rapportagemechanisme:
NEDERLAND Voortgangsrapportage 2013-2014

Independent Reporting Mechanism Netherlands: Progress Reports 2013-2014 Netherlands_for%20public%20comment_0.pdf 


Hungary, the Netherlands publish critical OGP Progress Reports, go to:

The author, Frans Jorna asks reviews!


Does open government need accountability Institutions?  (26 November 2014)


The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
September 24, 2014

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Global Anticorruption Agenda

President Obama and the U.S. Government continue to drive a robust agenda to stem corruption around the world and hold to account those who exploit the public’s trust for private gain.  Preventing corruption preserves funds for public revenue and thereby helps drive development and economic growth.  By contrast, pervasive corruption siphons revenue away from the public budget and undermines the rule of law and the confidence of citizens in their governments, facilitates human rights abuses and organized crime, empowers authoritarian rulers, and can threaten the stability of entire regions.  The United States views corruption as a growing threat to the national security of our country and allies around the world.

The United States has been a global leader on anticorruption efforts since enacting the first foreign bribery law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), in 1977.  The United States was a leader in developing fundamental international legal frameworks such as the UN Convention against Corruption and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention and the rest of the global architecture for international legal cooperation in areas such as asset recovery and denial of entry.  The United States also has been a leader in providing funding for capacity building to fight corruption and promote good governance.

The United States continues to take action to prevent the U.S. legal and financial systems from being exploited by those who engage in, or launder the proceeds of, corruption.  We will continue to work with key allies and partners, including in the Open Government Partnership, the G-7, the G-20, and the OECD Working Group on Bribery, to improve transparency, integrity, and accountability worldwide.  We will continue our support to promote the important role of civil society in providing accountability, including through non-government organizations, a robust and independent media, and the private sector, and will continue to work with governments to safeguard the independence of judiciaries, prosecutors, and oversight bodies.  We will hold responsible governments that tolerate or commit corrupt practices in contravention of international norms, including by adjusting our bilateral relations and advising our businesses and investors accordingly.

This Administration is undertaking a number of actions to promote transparency and stem corruption worldwide.

  • Pursuing corrupt actors and the proceeds of corruption.  The United States continues to use law enforcement and administrative tools to hold corrupt actors accountable and to retrieve the proceeds of corruption hidden in the U.S. financial system.
    • The United States continues to apply the FCPA to prosecute those who pay bribes to foreign officials to obtain business benefits.  Since 2009, the United States has resolved criminal cases against more than 50 corporations worldwide with penalties of approximately $3 billion, and it has convicted more than 50 individuals, including CEOs, CFOs, and other high-level corporate executives, for FCPA and FCPA-related crimes.
    • The United States continues to work with partner governments to pursue recovery of the proceeds of corruption, for the benefit of the citizens of the affected nations, including by establishing the recent Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery and the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery which will hold its third session in November 2014.  The United States has established anti-kleptocracy units of investigators and prosecutors dedicated to cooperate with other countries on asset recovery.
    • The United States will continue to use visa authorities to deter the corrupt, their beneficiaries, and their enablers from engaging in corruption and using the United States as a safe haven.
    • The Administration will advocate for legislation to close gaps in our money laundering laws regarding the proceeds of certain crimes committed abroad.
  • Working with U.S. businesses.  The U.S. Government works closely with U.S. businesses to ensure that private actors maintain their international brand as transparent and accountable partners.  The United States will develop a National Action Plan to promote and incentivize responsible business conduct, including with respect to transparency and anticorruption, consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises.
  • Preventing the abuse of anonymous shell companies.  The United States is taking several actions to prevent corrupt actors from using anonymous shell companies to engage in or launder the proceeds of corruption.
    • In his Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, the President proposed legislation to give law enforcement access to the identity of the natural persons exercising control over legal entities organized in the United States in order to facilitate law enforcement investigations and enhance transparency.
    • In August 2014, the Department of the Treasury published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence obligations for U.S. financial institutions, including a requirement to identify beneficial owners of certain customers that are legal entities.
  • Improving transparency in the extractives industry.  The extractives industry is especially susceptible to corruption, and the United States is taking several actions to ensure that extractives companies and governments remain accountable.
    • The United States will conduct a review of how the U.S. government integrates international best practices for transparency in the extractive industries in its foreign policy engagements.
    • The United States is working with G-7 and other partners to improve assistance to governments for negotiating complex contracts with the private sector to promote the adoption of more sustainable agreements, including supporting the launch of to provide requesting governments a complete picture of the negotiation process and to connect them with further assistance.
  • Working with other countries to promote anticorruption, transparency and open government.  The United States, through numerous assistance programs, works closely with countries around the world to build transparent and accountable financial and legal systems. The Departments of State and U.S. Agency for International Development devote approximately $1 billion per year to anticorruption and related good governance programs.
  • Galvanizing global efforts to promote open government principles in the Open Government Partnership (OGP).  With the leaders of seven other nations, President Obama in 2011 launched the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative in which governments make concrete commitments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies.  The OGP has grown rapidly from 8 to 64 countries and has generated thousands of new commitments to improve government for more than 2 billion people around the world.  From the passage of anticorruption legislation, to robust commitments to publish information on government spending, to new freedom of information laws, OGP has initiated a race to the top and is helping to transform the way that governments serve their citizens in the 21st century.
140909, Estonian World, Frans Jorna Saxion

E-democracy in Estland

Lees hier het interview met lector Frans Jorna (SAXION) op over zijn onderzoek naar open government in Estland.

Estonian World is an independent online magazine, founded in London, UK, in 2012. With editing teams in London, New York, Chicago, and Tallinn, Estonian World writes about cosmopolitan Estonians and their views, ideas, experiences and achievements around the world. We cover Estonia’s global successes in technology, business and the arts from a fair and balanced perspective, in a way that is accessible to Estonians and non-Estonians alike.

Lessons from exporting Estonia’s digital democracy
By Daniel Vaarik in Technology · August 25, 2014

For years Estonia has been experimenting with tools for digital democracy. Internet voting was introduced already in 2005 and today at least one in five voters casts their votes electronically in elections. At the same time the other countries are not following Estonia’s suit easily. Just how could one export these tools from one country to another anyway? Daniel Vaarik had a chat with Frans Jorna from the Saxion University in the Netherlands, who is currently working on applying Estonia’s system for local democracy procedures called Volis.

Why are you interested in Estonian digital democracy tools?
I am studying new modes of public governance and after meeting with some colleagues from Estonia, I developed an interest in e-democracy in Estonia, its lessons and applicability in other countries. Estonia’s e-democracy has a specific pedigree, it is from one point attractive, but it is also hard to export.

Why is it hard to export?
Contrary to many other government systems it starts with openness by default. As a reaction to the cumbersome bureaucratic past experiences with Soviet systems, openness, flexibility and apparent forms of government are now hardcoded in your genes. You also had to start from the scratch with little money whereas in many other European countries there are large bureaucratic systems with a long legacy.

You also have specific technical requirements like X-Road (the environment that allows to use various e-services databases) that exchanges information freely between public and private domains. This would be unthinkable in many other countries with distributed heterogeneous info streams. 

What are you doing with Volis specifically?
In Netherlands we are developing a local open government lab that connects citizens with professionals to develop good solid ideas that would normally not originate in top down government. Volis could be used as a backbone to get more transparency into the system.

The room I am in now, this is what we call the City Lab. Professionals, citizens, real estate developers, city marketing people, businesses and researchers will be having discussions and we would formulate and reformulate the ideas, comment on them, vote and transform them into local politics. It would be similar to the participatory budget process in the city of Tartu in Estonia.

What have you learned by implementing Volis in Netherlands? 
Whatever application you take, you always have to take the country-specificness into account. The comparative aspect needs to be addressed.

For example as in Tartu they have a participatory budget project where citizens can come up with ideas for public investment. What struck me is the grassroots approach: it is ordinary citizens that participate, craft proposals and cooperate. In Holland, most of the participants are in some way public servants, and the language they speak and proposals they produce are voiced in highly professional language. The reason for this difference became apparent when I visited Tartu. The Tartu municipality had four times less public servants than a city with comparable size in the Netherlands. It simply does not have the money and manpower to dominate participatory processes. Estonia’s local government is flexible and employs much less people, so the particular IT systems make perfect sense there.

How will systems like Volis change politics, if at all?
It is an interesting question that I ask myself as well. It seems too soon to tell. Information technology may be a catalyst, requiring transparency and driving out inconsistencies. Open decision-making is a driver for open data sets, open budgets and open spending. Information technology has the capacity to empower ordinary citizens by allowing them to use the power of the network to come up with proposals that can compete with expert-based proposals.

This may help overcome the cynicism and bias that professionals sometimes have towards e-participation. The long evening sessions that we are used to in Holland could be supplemented by forms of IT sustained participation that are much lighter. Today less people are willing to spend time in traditional forms of civic participation. By limiting the transaction costs with IT, they could enter the discussion any time and any place. The problem with many open systems is that in the end you still need an expert to explain the terms and numbers. So we need more tools that help people to interpret the data, to play with it.*****


See also: Citizen centric e-participation, A trilateral collaboration for democratic innovation Case studies on e-participation policy: Sweden, Estonia and Iceland, 2013, 41 pages + 6 pages references, go to


Open Corporates,
the open database of the corporate world (over 61 million companies, searched on 19 December 2013).

Frans Jorna benoemd tot Dutch national expert voor Open Government Partnership


Associate lector Frans Jorna is door het Open Government Partnership (OGP) gevraagd om als Nederlandse national expert de implementatie van het Open Government Partnership door de Nederlandse rijksoverheid te volgen.

OGP is een internationale coalitie van landen die hun openbaar bestuur willen openstellen voor burgers: meer transparantie (open data), meer betrokkenheid (open source policy) leidt tot betere verantwoording over effectiviteit, efficiency. In 2011 zijn 8 landen waaronder het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Noorwegen en de VS gestart. Inmiddels is de club gegroeid tot 55 landen met een board dat voor 50% bestaat uit vertegenwoordigers van de lidstaten (ministers) en 50% uit NGO’s. OGP resideert in Washington.

“Nederland heeft zich al vroeg gemeld,” aldus Frans Jorna. “De totstandkoming van het eerste actieplan waarin de principes van OGP omgewerkt zijn tot acties had echter wat voeten in de aarde. Nu pas start de toetreding, met een allereerste review van het Actieplan. Die review gaan wij als lectoraat Governance van het Kenniscentrum Leefomgeving uitvoeren. Het was een lang proces, met meer dan honderd tegenkandidaten en veel skype-selectiegesprekken, maar het lectoraat is er als beste uitgekomen.”

Tussen begin september en eind januari voert Frans Jorna samen met trainee Sjardé Bolhaar de eerste review uit.

Bekijk hier een korte film over het OGP. Voor meer informatie kunt u contact opnemen met Frans Jorna, via