What Transparency Means to Feds
President Obama wants to make government more transparent. He clearly said so in a memo released Jan. 21, one day after he took the oath of office.
"Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing," he wrote. "My administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use."
But what, exactly, is transparency? What information should be released and in what form? Who is responsible for making sure it happens? Government Executive magazine attempts to answer those questions in its April cover story, "Behind the Curtain."
The Risks of Open Government
By Allan Holmes 09/14/2009
This is the second in a two-part series discussing the Obama administration's approach to open government with Archon Fung, a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government who studies transparency in government.
Nextgov Executive Editor Allan Holmes interviewed Fung in August, shortly after Fung returned from Washington, where he participated in a three-day workshop with federal managers, administration officials, democracy groups, scholars and others to discuss ways to involve citizens more in government. The following are edited excerpts: