According to the research conducted by the "RAND Europe" institute commissioned by the European Parliament, the extent of corruption in the countries of the European Union (EU) costs the economy 990 billion euros annually. In order to contribute to solving European transparency challenges, Lithuanian organizations are initiating the international "Integrity Hackathon". This is a two-part event that will bring together professionals of different sectors and transparency enthusiasts to develop innovative ideas. The winning team will be awarded a prize of EUR 15.000 worth of selected remote courses at prestigious world universities.
In order for every resident of the country, business representative or person working in the public sector to foster the values of transparency by example, innovative IT products, opportunities for using open data and other systems based on modern technologies are needed.
Innovation to encourage the creation of a more transparent environment
According to the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Lithuania ranks 13th among EU countries. The leading countries are Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
In order to make a significant contribution to creating a transparent environment and solving challenges, the main anti-corruption institution of Lithuania, the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania (STT), AB Vilniaus šilumos tinklai (VŠT) which is actively involved in creating an anti-corruption environment, the anti-corruption network of institutions European partners against corruption and European contact point network (EPAC/EACN) are joining forces and taking the initiative to organize the Integrity Hackathon.
According to the head of the STT and EPAC/EACN president Žydrūnas Bartkus, the effects of corruption, just like its causes, are complex and affect almost all areas of state and public life, therefore it is critical to look for new, modern means of fighting corruption on a pan-European scale.
"Corruption in Western democracies is seen as a threat to national security. Authoritarian regimes use corruption for anti-democratic purposes, and in the global world, corrupt relationships are increasingly not limited to state borders. Although there is a lot of talk about transparency and corruption prevention and their importance is being realized by a growing part of the society, the challenges and issues to be solved in this area are still numerous. This hackathon is a great opportunity to contribute to building an anti-corruption environment and become the author of the idea that brings about real changes in Europe '', says STT director, EPAC/EACN president Bartkus.
According to Gerimantas Bakanas, the general manager of AB Vilniaus šilumos tinklai, bold and innovative solutions are necessary to ensure transparency in various sectors of the country. In order for every resident of the country, business representative or person working in the public sector to foster the values of transparency by example, innovative IT products, opportunities for using open data and other systems based on modern technologies are needed.
"A transparent environment has always been one of the company's priorities, this is why we are among the leaders in this field and we actively contribute to the development of a transparent environment. We regularly share our experience with other organizations. Guided by values such as the courage to act and we care about the world, we believe that innovative solutions and ideas can make a significant contribution to solving the challenges of a transparent environment relevant to the entire continent", says Bakanas, the general manager of VŠT.
Lithuanian organizations that have joined forces invite experts and enthusiasts of creating a transparent, corruption-resistant environment: the IT industry, entrepreneurs, science, risk management experts, lawyers and students as well as everyone keen on developing of ideas for creating an environment based on trust, honesty and openness, to register and participate in "Integrity Hackathon". The first virtual stage of the event will take place in 2022, on September 29-30th.
One of the challenges: frozen assets of Russian oligarchs
The hackathon aims to bring together professionals from different fields to develop transparency tools and solutions. Participants will be invited to search for ways to integrate modern technologies for improving the environment of transparency (AI, Big data), to brainstorm how to promote anti-corruption awareness in different society groups, to form greater resistance to different forms of corruption and to expand international cooperation, creating a more transparent Europe and sharing good practices.
The initiative draws attention to different forms of corruption and invites participants to solve current problems: from the management of the Russian Federation’s oligarchs in the case of the Ukrainian war, the transparency of European Union investments, the use of open data, and systems for measuring the resistance of employees to corruption factors.
Each team is invited to choose one of the six challenges and to help overcome the manifestations of corruption in Europe with their ideas and proposed solutions. It also provides a unique opportunity for participants to initiate challenges matching the theme of the hackathon themselves.
Courses at prestigious universities for the winners
The ideas of all teams, their development and application and the creation of added value will be evaluated by a jury with many years of international experience in the field of anti-corruption: representatives from EPAC/EACN, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Transparency International. The first three-place winning teams will go to the finals, which will take place on November 11th in Vilnius, and the authors of the best idea will be awarded a valuable prize - a EUR 15.000 check for distance learning courses at prestigious world universities.
Those wishing to participate in the international "Integrity Hackathon'' are invited to register by September 22 of this year by filling out the participant form on the event's website https://integrityhackathon.chc.lt/. Both individuals and pre-assembled teams are welcome.