Open Declare was initially designed for the Electoral Commission of Queensland to promote transparency between political members and the public. Prior to Open Declare, the existing donation workflows were paper-based, slow, error-prone and required a lot of manual processing by its staff members. Once the data was processed, it was then shipped to an archiving facility, where information about donations wasn’t easily accessible to the public. This and other factors lead to a perception that politicians “have something to hide”.
Recent events show how transparency is single-handedly improving democratic processes. For example, Barnaby Joyce’s claims on travel allowance when parliament was not sitting caused an uproar in the public. The official records had shown Mr Joyce had claimed more than $16,000 in travel allowance between January and September of last year. Another example is when Pauline Hanson failed to declare a $4,500 snorkelling cruise.
These are some of the reasons why Open Declare is being deployed across Australia.
Are you a journalist or public servant who would like to know more about Open Declare? Do you think your state could benefit from more transparency on political donations? If so, then please contact us.