AccountabilityIs impossible without real transparency.
Now that government has grown to an immense size and complexity,
it is vital that government maintain full accountability to the people through real transparency.
TransparencyIs impossible Unless States Publish Everything.
Government transparency is the act of publishing the decisions and financial actions taken by our state governments. States must publish the entire body of information in a meaningful and understandable format before Real Transparency can be achieved.
' What should
States Publish 'becomes the most important question
The question is now, "what should be published, and in what form?". TransparaGov has developed a baseline list of transparency elements and definitions of the form in which information must be presented.
The Problem... Inconsistency.
Now that government has grown to an immense size and complexity, it is more important than ever that governments maintain complete accountability to the people. Unfortunately, accountability is not possible without real, consistently defined transparency.
Accountability is dependent on real, consistently defined transparency. Without this definition, it is simply impossible to fully understand the transparency information that our state governments publish. Before government leaders can be held accountable for their decisions and actions, we must have a clear consistent understanding of what those actions were.
Without real transparency, it's impossible to compare performance between states, it's impossible to understand what works and what doesn't, and it's impossible to hold our leaders accountable for their actions in a meaningful way.
Transparency is the act of documenting and publishing the decisions and actions taken by our state governments. That information must be made available to the public in a meaningful and understandable format. Not too long ago, the technology to accomplish this simply did not exist. Over the past few years, state governments have implemented significant improvements in their IT infrastructures.
With these improvements in place, and with new software technologies, it is finally possible to publish full and complete transparency information in a useful format... Provided that states understand what information to publish, and in what format.
What States Currently Publish
From one state to the next, inconsistency in transparency publications is the norm. Some states eliminate all transactions below an arbitrary amount, causing inaccurate reports, and creating the potential for vendor fraud. Other states only publish information that is woefully out of date, while others publish only the most recent information lacking any context.
Many states simply publish their checkbook and stop there, omitting vendor information, contracts, details on the bidding process, pension information, calendars, schedules, meeting records, money management, investments, community development, and numerous other categories that fall within the scope of 'transparency information'.