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Transparency Matters

May 6, 2009
By H. Mosher

... And Incoming author Christopher Dorobek would like you to know why in his May column. It's more than a buzzword, he writes:

No person can overestimate the complexities involved in implementing government transparency. It is a dramatic shift in the way we think about information, particularly in government. We always have understood that information is powerful, but the understanding of the power of information led us to keep our information close. In fact, the theory of Web 2.0-and I would argue of transparency as well-is that information, in fact, becomes much more powerful when it is shared.

Dorobek adds a number of examples: the Health and Human Services' asking for user input on its pandemic flu page (note that his column was written before the Swine Flu outbreak), the Bush administration's initiative to make the Presidential Management Agenda scorecard ratings public, federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra's attempts to open up certain D.C. government meetings by posting videos of those meetings to YouTube.

Read his article, "Why Transparency Matters", and consider the challenges government faces in defining transparency and implementing it effectively. What do you think?

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