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Vacuumlab’s pro bono project that brings transparency and helps fighting corruption
Created at a hackathon, verejne.digital is a platform founded by Chceme vediet team and developed by Vacuumlabs that uses data from public databases and artificial intelligence to ease everyone’s access to public financial information, reduce corruption and point to potential frauds in public procurements.
The app consists of five different tools. The first one is the map, showing companies and people with business connections to politicians or state. Anyone can search on this map on his own and can check whether his or her neighbour isn’t doing anything suspicious.
The second functionality named Profile maps politicians according to their assets and properties and puts them into a ranking table. Profile gathers data from the business register, cadastre and asset declaration and then shows them on the politician’s profile page along with the map of his properties. However, the downside is that it only works with the official data from the asset declaration database.
Another part is Connections. Using a pair of search bars, one can search for an interesting connection between two companies or persons. The search engine then creates a nice graph, mapping any relationships between the subjects of your interest.
One of the most interesting tools is the fourth one, Public Procurements, which uses artificial intelligence to highlight any suspicious public procurements. The algorithm confronts a calculated price with costs published in procurement and if there is something suspicious it puts an exclamation mark next to it. Along with that, the algorithm suggests companies suitable for current procurements.
The last tool, still in the Beta phase, enables the user to create and share data reports. The Playground, as it’s the name of the tool, encourages you to dive into data-science and help others and the community.
As Boris Vida pointed out in his talk, verejne.digital was re-written by Vacuumlabs from its initial messy state into a unified stack. It’s an excellent example of how you can achieve something spectacular from a great idea developed at a hackathon.
So why are we doing it? Well, building a pro bono project has many advantages. Not only it helps the society, but also creates space for becoming a better developer and to learn and try new tools on your own without any deadlines. For instance, we have created data-provider, an open-source library aiming to provide convenient data fetching for REST APIs. You can check the code on GitHub. Another tool we have developed is reduced-redux, a simplifier to reduce any boilerplate in the code.
Verejne.digital is a perfect example of a successful hackathon idea. It encourages you to care for your hackathon project and do not abandon it because of technical debt. It also shows how you can help the community while becoming a better developer. At Vacuumlabs, we believe this is a way to build something great.