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This Week: Barrie launches Citizen Budget and Knight Foundation Report on Civic Tech

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  • The Knight Foundation published an initial report on the emerging civic technology sector, mapping the field using semantic analysis by Quid and private and philanthropic investment data. Accompanying the report, the Knight Foundation released an interactive visualization of how organizations are related within the sector. Partial investment data about Open North, as part of the “public decision making” cluster of organizations, is included in the analysis. A data directory of organizations and investments used in the analysis is also available for download.

  • In keeping with its mission to surface all public information about corporations, OpenCorporates launched a sister website, OpenLEIs, to address the lack of permanent, IP-free, unique corporate identifiers in the financial markets. The announcement explains the problems that the LEI system addresses in detail; for example, using existing identifier systems, regulators regularly cannot be sure who they are dealing with. OpenLEIs is a browsable, searchable user-friendly interface for the LEI system that will allow users to start working with this data.

  • On November 29th, the United Nations anti-corruption summit closed in Panama City, Panama. A press release issued by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Coalition details a battle between governments during the summit to decide whether or not NGOs should be allowed at UN anti-corruption meetings. NGO participation in anti-corruption discussions is important given the expertise of these organizations, and only a small few countries remain steadfast in blocking their involvement. The press release also notes, despite intense debate, important progress such as the “strong language on transparency of beneficial ownership championed by the governments of the US and Argentina in draft resolution text.” You can learn more about the UNCAC Coalition on their website.

  • The City of Barrie, Ontario launched a Citizen Budget consultation last week. The consultation, available at www.barriebudget.com is the first online budget simulator offered to residents by the City and focuses on service levels. If you’re interested in learning more about Citizen Budget, contact us at citizenbudget@opennorth.ca.

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