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Open LGU Research Team Completes Bohol Fieldwork

The Open LGU Research Team completes the fieldwork for one of its case sites for the study that explores the effect of opening government data to the public to the efforts of local governments in promoting transparency and accountability in local governance in the Philippines.  Bohol, at the heart of central Visayas, is chosen as one of the case sites for the research project because of its strong tradition in participatory governance, recognized by award-giving bodies in the country, more notably the Galing Pook Foundation. In 2011, Bohol was also considered as the best governed province in the country.

Data suppliers and conduits within the Provincial Government of Bohol were interviewed regarding how they make available to the public, through the internet, financial reports and other relevant local government information in compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy(FDP).  At the same time, stakeholders representing the media, academe, non-government organizations, and church groups were interviewed whether they have accessed and used the information that were made publicly available.

It is interesting to note of the initial findings from the research which will soon be released publicly by the research team.  These are as follows:

a.  Data suppliers and conduits have been disclosing local government information even prior to the effectivity of the Full Disclosure Policy because there are certain information that have been required already to be posted in three conspicuous public places.  But the FDP prompted them to make this information also available through the websites.

b.  There has been no significant change since the time the Provincial Government made information public through the internet. Offices that supplied this information have not received questions, inquiry from the public regarding budgets, procurement activities or public fund utilization.

c. Only very few local stakeholders are aware of the FDP. Only very few have also accessed documents through the website.  Correspondingly, only very few have used the information made available in their organizational affairs.

The reasons and effects of the above findings, and its implications to the Philippine's efforts to promote open data in local governance will be discussed in detail in the case report.