Good Information That Is Easy To Understand
My hypothesis is that while transparency stops secrecy, and enables more open government, it does not limit deception. For example, misinformation and misunderstanding follows when accountability documents underplay sensitive financial and performance information, and when planners are forced to write bland and uninformative advice, using evasive and indirect statements that substitute for free and frank advice. My idea is to provide every strategy, governance and planning manager with training and incentives to help their planners and financial advisors to think and draft in a way that enables good decision-making and ensures the decision can be understood and tested by people who do not understand the technical issues. If we really want open government then we need to find a way to make sure New Zealanders can assess the credibility of the accountability information.
Why the contribution is important
Open Government is now possible on a scale of which the past public servants could barely dream. Parliament is now flooded with information. Pick up any Statement of Intent, Statement of Performance Information, Annual Report or Budget Fact Sheet or answer to a written question and the facts and figures demonstrate financial and managerial accountability. Yet this high enthusiasm forever more accountability information appears to have done little to build or restore public trust. A cynic might say, trust has receded as more accountability information has been tabled in Parliament. This idea is important because there are a truckload of people producing this information across the entire public sector, but very few people use this information, and even fewer people know how to scrutinise and judge the credibility of the information (in a sensible, useful and inclusive way, as opposed to 'gotcha' moments).
by debtk on May 08, 2018 at 09:18AM