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The Compass of Transparency

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Award winner

The compass of transparency (www.magellanopa.it/bussola) is an automated online instrument that gives citizens the possibility to monitor in real time the implementation of all data and information requirements imposed by Italian law on the websites of more than 20,000 Italian public administrations (PAs). It aims to support government, through the direct involvement of citizens, in the continuous quality improvement of online and digital services. It is a system of rules, processes and technologies that combines the three basic principles of Open Government: transparency of public administrations; citizen participation; and collaboration.

The compass yields returns in terms of increased efficiency, reduction of corruption and lower costs across the whole Italian public sector. The social collaboration of citizens is extremely important, as a different kind of verification system would be very slow and expensive given the high number of PAs. Therefore, the sociallyfriendly control can be seen as a new collaborative relationship between citizens and administrations, becoming a highly efficient tool.

The heart of the system is a validation mechanism, composed of software sensors and mathematical algorithms, with the ability to analyse PA websites in both real time and at certain intervals. The analysis is performed by comparing the found data and information with contents defined and standardised by the laws of transparency and guidelines on websites. The data is then collected in a data warehouse which, through dedicated interfaces, is able to provide different types of users with results on the transparency compliance of all institutional websites.

The most important functionalities of the compass, all of them being publicly accessible and multilingual, are the following:

  • checking the site;
  • comparing the sites of the different PAs;
  • ranking between public administrations thanks to a set of ranking features for transparency;
  • giving your opinion in a completely anonymous way via logging in to the compass through social networks;
  • graphic dashboard giving an overview of the transparency process at national and regional level.

Transferability of the ‘Compass of Transparency’ to other administrative systems is fully assured by its simple methodology, terms of rules, processes and technologies.

Award info
Award category: weathering the storm. creative solutions in a time of crisis - european and national level
Award type: award
Award year: 2013
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Transparency, Open Government, eGovernment, citizen engagement, interinstitutional cooperation, ICT, social media
Short English description: The compass of transparency (www.magellanopa.it/bussola) is an automated online instrument that

gives citizens the possibility to monitor in real time the implementation of all data and information requirements imposed by Italian law on the websites of more than 20,000 Italian public administrations (PAs).

Further information
Organisation: Department for Public Administration of Italy
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.magellanopa.it/bussola/
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: 1-5
Country: Italy
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


The Compass of Transparency (41.8961883, 12.4751572)
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