The Business Case for Open Government

In 2011, reformers—including government ministers, mayors, parliamentarians, justices, journalists, and activists—launched the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Through the Partnership, currently made up of 75 countries and 105 local members that promote the values of transparency, participation, and public accountability, a diverse set of stakeholders are working to change how governments serve citizens.

Business has always been a critical part of this global community and is a key partner in driving forward these changes. This understanding is reflected in the 2023–2028 OGP strategy, which recognizes that business has an important role to play, particularly in tackling some of the world’s most pressing, interconnected challenges: climate change, corruption, and digital governance.

Though businesses have engaged with other actors throughout the Partnership’s history, the time is right to increase their engagement and commit to supporting open government reforms. The following analysis makes the case for why the private sector should care about open government, how it already supports open government reforms worldwide, and new ways forward for collaboration.

A Diverse, Vital Sector

Promoting a level playing field for companies, streamlining procurement processes, and advancing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment and reporting standards are all areas where business has been engaging with open government principles worldwide. Business-led reforms directly address these issues—such as opening up contracting processes and lobbying data—by making public sector data more accessible.

The private sector has always been a part of the OGP community. The earliest action plans brought in business as implementation partners of commitments, members of multi-stakeholder processes, and champions of transparency reform.

Now, after a decade of experience, the open government community can begin to tell the story of why and how business engages with open government reform. In collaboration with The B Team, OGP brings together a few cases demonstrating why different businesses decided to engage in more open and collaborative approaches to supporting government actions at the country and local levels.

This web resource has four parts:

  1. Open business is good business. A review of how private sector interests intersect with open government reforms.
  2. How business participates in the OGP platform. An exploration of how the private sector has participated in OGP overall.
  3. OGP commitments most relevant to business. An overview of what commitments affecting the private sector have been carried out in OGP.
  4. Case studies: Business interests in open government. Three short case studies on how the private sector has helped promote open government: