The Transparency and Integrity Index is a pioneer initiative by CeFTIW towards enhancing good governance within the public sector by assessing critical variables that promote accountability. The Index was presented to public on 28th September, 2021, at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, Central Business District, Abuja.
Welcome Remarks at the presentation of Transparency and Integrity Index (TII) 2021, by Angela Nworgu
Good Morning. My name is Angela Nworgu, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch, organizers of today’s presentation supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
The Transparency and Integrity Index we are presenting today, is conceived in line with the Center’s objective of promoting transparency and monitoring public sector expenditure and strengthening the integrity mechanism of public institutions.
The Index covers a broad spectrum regarding open governance. At the same time, certain jurisdictions have made efforts to enhance access to information. For instance, with the help of civil society, Argentina has tried to monitor public expenditure, Columbia has deployed technology to enable access to public accounts in Four hundred (400) cities, Guatemala has in place a citizens’ observatory to secure access to information, Peru has established a database on public officials etc.
The Index being launched today can be described as a First, in that not only does it cover the aspects just mentioned in regard to the named jurisdictions, it also addresses MDAs’ and other public institutions’ inability to publicize their activities as required by relevant laws that guide their operations.
The Index aims to establish the extent these institutions’ disclosure of vital information relating to good governance within the public domain, with emphasis on the websites and other portals of the MDAs’.
The pioneer homegrown index report being launched today contains an assessment of Four Hundred and Seventy-Five (475) Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the Thirty-Six (36) States and Seven Hundred and Seventy-Four (774) Local Governments.
The evaluation will be carried out on a continuous basis, and a report will be released by the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch annually on the 28th of September.
The choice of today 28th of September, for the launch of this Index is instructive. Recognizing the significance of access to information, the 74th session of the UNGA proclaimed the 28th of September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.
Ensuring citizens right to access information held by public bodies is a necessary first step to help prevent corruption. Although over Sixty (60) countries worldwide have passed legislation on the right to information, an entrenched culture of secrecy still prevents the realization of the goal. These leave the gaps that facilitate corruption and also denying citizens and communities the ability to make informed decisions and the opportunity to fully participate in public life.
For its celebration of the day for 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has chosen the theme “The Right to Know -Building Back Better with Access to Information”.
It will highlight the fact that the public’s need for accurate and reliable information has never been stronger than now, as countries struggling to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic rebuild their communities and institutions.
UNESCO is also commencing global consultations for a universal declaration to be adopted in 2022 in support of Access to Information as an essential driver for Sustainable Development.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the foregoing undercovers how essential today’s launch is not just for own dear country, Nigeria, but for Africa and indeed the world.
We therefore urge us all to take a serious look at the Index, what it stands for and what it portends. It is our hope that in the not too distant future, the Index would be adopted by countries and jurisdictions, as well as international bodies especially the United Nations (UN).
I welcome you and wish us all fruitful deliberations.
Transparency and Integrity Index 2021 Executive Summary
The Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) is a non-governmental and non-partisan organisation established to promote accountability and transparency within the public sector and enhance good governance at all levels. The conception of the Transparency & Integrity Index is in line with our objective of promoting transparency, monitoring public sector expenditure and strengthening the integrity mechanisms of public institutions.
The index is essential because no existing mechanism presently covers such a broad scope regarding open governance. It also attempts to address concerns of MDAs and other public institutions inability to publicise their activities as required by relevant laws that guide their operations. TII is initiated to evaluate and monitor MDAs and other public institutions compliance with laws that mandates them to disclose their activities proactively. We aim to establish the extent of the institutions’ disclosure of vital information relating to good governance within the public domain, with emphasis on the website and portals of the MDAs.
The assessment follows a conscientious review of international conventions and commitments, among which include: the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), 2004; The Open Government Partnership; the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, 2006; Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 and 16; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and other local laws which are detailed in the report.
The assessment of federal institutions is slightly different from the state and local governments. For federal MDAs, we identified thirty-one (31) sub-variables under five thematic areas within which the assessment is conducted. While
for the states and local governments, twelve (12) sub-variables are identified. The variables are built around Fiscal Transparency, Open Procurement, Anti-Corruption, Citizens Engagement, and Local Government Transparency.
Our findings show that the overall performance of the institutions is abysmal. All the institutions’ score is below average in a percentage scale. Family Homes Ltd occupied the 1st rank with 34.92%. The assessment of the states indicates that Kaduna state has the highest score of 76.67% and is ranked 1st.
The evaluation will be conducted continuously, and a report will be released annually on the 28th of September – to coincide with the United Nations International Day for Universal Access to Information. The objective of the Day is to accelerate sustainable solutions aimed at reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by mobilizing governments, civil society and people to take ownership and contribute to SDG16 (Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies), as measured by public access to information, particularly in regards to building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
It will provide a benchmark for rating public sector officials and their institutions, and at the same time, empower Nigerians to demand accountability.
As a homegrown index, it is projected for that it will be adopted globally.
Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch.
TRANSPARENCY & INTERGRITY INDEX 2021 RESULTS AND RANKING FOR FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS
TRANSPARENCY & INTERGRITY INDEX 2021 RESULTS AND RANKING FOR STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
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