September 25, 2014 / 1:04 AM / 4 years ago

Obama at U.N. pledges steps to more open government

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday that the United States would provide easier access to federal spending information, part of a global effort to create more open governments.

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a toast during a luncheon hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. General Assembly in New York September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Governments that are responsive, transparent and accountable lead to prosperity and opportunity and discourage corruption, Obama said at a meeting of the Open Government Partnership, a group of 64 nations meeting at the United Nations General Assembly.

The U.S. government will launch an improved website next year that will provide better access to see how taxpayer money is spent, he said.

The government also will improve accessibility to federal financial data, boost digital services at federal agencies and strengthen patient privacy in the health care system, he said.

“Open and honest collaboration with citizens and civil society over the long term, no matter how uncomfortable it is, makes countries stronger and it makes countries more successful,” he said.

The Open Government Partnership was launched three years ago to implement open government reforms around the world.

“No country has all the answers. No country has perfect practices,” Obama said.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Howard Goller and Grant McCool

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