Mr Giannis Ragkousis


26th April 2018 at 13:00pm


Mithras House, University of Brighton


The seminar aims to shed light on the process of introducing a radical innovation in the public administration against a background of entrenched behaviour of the involved actors and economic crisis and social tensions, elaborating on the management challenges and the decision-making process of the leadership team. The seminar will draw from the experience of developing and implementing the programme “Diavgeia” (i.e. transparency in Greek) in the Greek public administration to cover all important decisions taken in the wider public sector, including the national government departments, the regional and local governments as well as organisations like the Greek National Health System.

Taking the view that the non-transparent relationship between the citizens and the state played an important role for the Greek crisis, including its economic manifestations, the Diavgeia program introduced unprecedented levels of transparency within all levels of Greek public administration and established a new “social contract” between the citizen and the state. This initiative has a silent but profound impact on the way officials handle their executive power. The direct accountability brought upon the administration by the radical transparency that the Diavgeia program introduces, leaves considerably less room for corruption, and exposes it much more easily when it takes place since any citizen and every interested party enjoy the widest possible access to questionable acts. Such a collective scrutiny can be extremely effective, since it allows citizens directly involved or concerned with an issue to scrutinise it in depth, rather than leaving public scrutiny to the media, whose choice of issues necessarily may be restricted and oriented towards sensational topics.

The Diavgeia programme was based on an IT system which was developed and introduced in the wider public sector. It provides a technological implementation model which is based on an agile strategy of “open data”, “open content” and “open architecture” that allows for the dissemination and re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI), providing the necessary tools for open access to it OpenDataAPI. Various applications have been built upon the Transparency open data access tools.

The speaker, who was the Minister in charge of the initiative at the time, will discuss the context of the introduction of the initiative (Greek crisis, social tensions etc.), the emerged challenges, the intervening factors and other mediating circumstances experienced during the development and the implementation of the Diavgeia programme. The final decisions taken will be also presented together the adjustments and the ‘compromises’ made in the process, explaining the underlying factors. A first evaluation of the impact of the programme and the achieved benefits will be also presented in the seminar.


Giannis Ragousis was Minister of Interior, Decentralization and the e-Governance between 2009-2011 when the crisis broke out, after having elected twice as Mayor of Paros getting more than 68% of the vote.

Giannis was a strong supporter of the need for reforms in the country, introducing several fully featured pieces of legislation such as the Programme of «Diavgeia» to request ‘transparency’ in the decisions of the wider public sector, the «Kallikratis» Programme to increase efficiency in regional and local government institutions including the enforcement of transparency in the expenses for the elections of regional and local authorities, the enforcement of a meritocracy system for the recruitment and the promotion of senior people in the wider public sector etc.