Most often when transparency by governments is discussed, the arguments focus on benefits to the public. This new report has taken a closer look at how transparency might affect a government itself – and found various benefits. Consequently, it sets out practical steps to improve transparency in governments.
Before doing so, however, it re-examines why transparency might be deemed burdensome and a hinderance by those in government. Being transparent requires data collection and publication as well as having a strategy on how to maintain said data. This takes away time and resources from other priorities. Similarly, transparent processes can easily reveal poor performance and unethical behaviour, which can lead to those in government trying to be less transparent.
In contrast, though, the report identifies four benefits of transparency to government.
In order to improve and encourage transparency practices in UK government(s), the report lays out eight practical steps, including:
All eight practical steps can be found in the report.
The report was collated based on seven case studies, including Transport for London’s (TfL) open data, Scottish public appointments and MPs’ expenses.
The Institute for Government is the UK’s leading independent think tank working to make government more effective. Through in-depth analysis, expert commentary and influential public events they explore how government works – and how it can work better.