PUBLICATION/ Jul 2015

How Open Data Can Help Tackle Corruption: Policy Paper

This policy paper provides a summary of our research into how open data can be used to tackle corruption. This research involved analysing 95 case studies of corrupt behaviour and identifying the primary method of finding this information.


We found that whilst open data has not historically been used to identify incidents of corruption in the UK it can be used to deter and detect corrupt acts, and should be an integral part of the UK’s anti-corruption toolkit.

The research also identified particular types of data that could be more relevant to specific types of corrupt behaviours, and found that open data’s role in tackling corruption can differ dramatically depending on whether the behaviour is illegal or not. Law enforcement investigations appear to be the best method of identifying criminal activity, whilst open data can play a more powerful role in informing public debate about activity that is not technically illegal or a breach of certain rules, but nevertheless ethically questionable.

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How Open Data Can Help Tackle Corruption: Policy Paper

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