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Every year, governments worldwide sign contracts worth trillions of dollars. Citizens should know what is in those contracts, so that they can hold governments accountable. They can only do so if the contracts are published. However, there are cases in which full publication of all the information in government contracts is against the public interest because it may reduce the quality or increase the price of procurements. To date, there is little guidance and very mixed practice regarding when it is in the public interest to publish or to redact information that is potentially commercially valuable. The Center for Global Development Working Group on Commercial Confidentiality was convened last year to help fill that gap. The report of the Working Group presents ten principles around commercial transparency that build on the key concept that information should be kept confidential on the grounds of commercial sensitivity only when it is in the public interest to do so.
Tuesday, April 23rd
- 8 am Seattle
- 11 am New York / Caracas
- 4 pm London / Lagos / Lisbon
- 5 pm Paris / Cape Town
- 6 pm Helsinki / Amman / Moscow / Doha
- 7 pm Dubai
- 8:30 pm Mumbai
- 11 pm Perth / Singapore / Beijing
Our Expert: Charles Kenny
Charles Kenny is a senior fellow and the director of technology and development at the Center for Global Development. His current work focuses on gender and development, the role of technology in development, governance and anticorruption and the post-2015 development agenda. He has published articles, chapters and books on issues including what we know about the causes of economic growth, the link between economic growth and broader development, the causes of improvements in global health, the link between economic growth and happiness, the end of the Malthusian trap, the role of communications technologies in development, the ‘digital divide,’ corruption, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. He is the author of the book "Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding, and How We Can Improve the World Even More" and “The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Great for the West.” He has been a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a regular contributor to Business Week magazine. Kenny was previously at the World Bank, where his assignments included working with the VP for the Middle East and North Africa Region, coordinating work on governance and anticorruption in infrastructure and natural resources, and managing a number of investment and technical assistance projects covering telecommunications and the Internet.
Charles Kenny keeps a personal blog at http://charleskenny.blogs.com