Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2015 Contents A8
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt February 15, 2015
Margaret Rose has taken her
passion for transparency and
accountability in public procure-
ment straight to cyberspace with
the creation of an online plat-
The platform, which will
become operational on Tuesday
when it is launched on the Web
site www.disclosure.today, is tak-
ing whistleblowing in T&T into
the digital age.
It will offer citizens a secure
place to relay information on cor-
ruption at state bodies and state
projects, as well as facilitate link-
ages between public interest
attorneys and like minded citi-
Rose, a lawyer, is currently in
the United Kingdom where she
is working on putting the final
touches on the platform with her
technical team from the Lisbon
(www.linnk.us), an MIT Portugal
spin-off headed by CEO Vasco
Portugal is also part of the Dis-
closure Today! team which
includes lawyers Justin Phelps,
Yelena Hewitt and Tanya Alex-
is.Rose, the founding director of
Disclosure Today! and co-founder
of the Caribbean Procurement
Institute, told the Sunday
Guardian that the Disclosure
Today! organisation is "built on
the foundation of transparency."
She explained, via e-mail, that
"research has shown that over
50 per cent of the corruption
cases which have resulted in
charges and convictions are as a
result of a whistle-blower coming
forward. The Disclosure Today!
platform creates a safer environ-
ment than currently exists for
civic-minded citizens with infor-
mation to come forward."
The Disclosure Today! plat-
form, which had a soft launch in
December with the creation of a
Facebook community page, also
provides citizens with guidance
for Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) applications to inquire
into public procurement projects.
She said it "creates a public
interest marketplace connecting
citizens, lawyers and public offi-
cials and using the power of tech-
nology and new media to increase
public sector transparency there-
by driving citizen participation
and accountability in public pro-
She said the platform was a
critical asset for ensuring there
was accountability and trans-
parency in public procurement.
The platform is also timely since
the long-awaited Public Procure-
ment Bill was passed in Parlia-
ment last December.
The Disclosure Today! plat-
form, she said, "allows public
bodies to interact with citizens
early on in a project cycle and to
report on project commissioning
It is built around the principles
of the new Open Contracting
Movement worldwide, she added.
The platform allows citizens
to automate requests for infor-
mation under the FOIA, propose
a solution to community prob-
lems and make a Public Interest
Disclosure (PID) anonymously or
confidentially. The platform will
also contain resources and links
to public bodies.
Rose assured that "public bod-
ies should not feel threatened by
the platform as it also encourages
proactive disclosure by bodies
which will mitigate and in some
cases eradicate opportunities for
protracted, time and resource
intensive responses to requests
for information under the act."
She believes that if Disclosure
Today! is embraced by citizens
it can be a game changer for T&T.
"We could be an example to
the rest of the world of how to
create bottom-up solutions to
create changes on public gover-
nance issues. Also, it is really a
tremendous opportunity, inter-
nally for citizens who are frus-
trated but disillusioned, citizen
activists, NGOs and Media to col-
laborate around initiatives, gain
support and engage in public
decision-making issues," she
Rose said her mantra has
become one of "stop looking to
our leaders to save us, let us
look to the leaders within our-
Disclosure Today! gives every
citizen the opportunity to become
a political game changer, "if they
want to be and have the courage
to follow through," she said.
"Disclosure Today! will be
what we the citizens of T&T
make it. What it means to the
country, will depend on how we
in T&T respond to and engage
enter the digital age
...with launch of Disclosure Today!
Even though Disclosure Today! is set to
become operational on Tuesday, it has
already garnering recognition by copping the
International Anti-Corruption Social
Entrepreneurs Initiative Global 2014 award.
Last week, IACC announced Disclosure
Today!, together with Skyless Game
Studios's City Hall Video game (USA) and
Pablo Riva's FAENÓN project (Peru), as
winners of its Social Entrepreneurs
According to the IACC Web site, 156
applications from 48 different countries
worldwide on a huge range of corruption-
related issues were submitted.
All three will receive 5,000 Euros in "seed"
money to kick-start their projects.
Rose said she was really pleased and
excited by the award.
"I see this win as an acknowledgment on a
global level that I am on the right track and
should keep pressing on. I feel I have finally
found my niche in "social" or as some would
call my strain "civic" entrepreneurship. I am
excited about the kind of impact I will be able
to make using my energy to solve social
challenges and in particular, my current social
passion...anti-corruption," Rose said.
She said the award was not only key to her
anti-corruption campaign but to T&T's
development as well.
"This is an awesome opportunity for the
country to be placed on the world map in a
really positive way. All around the world,
societies are looking for more innovative and
effective methodologies for eradicating
corruption and deepening civic engagement
in representative democracies," she said.
Attorney Margaret Rose, founding director of Disclosure Today! and co-founder
of the Caribbean Procurement Institute.
Online platform cops international anti-corruption award
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