Government and Transparency

I ran across this report that talks about the effectiveness of transparency requirements put in place around the Recovery Act (stimulus money). Don’t get caught up in whether you agree or disagree with the stimulus money, that’s a different discussion. My summary of lessons learned:

  • Publishing the data didn’t quite yield an army of people watching and checking for fraud (though some did).
  • Publishing the data made the people doing the publishing very conscious of the need for good (accurate) data
  • The people doing the publishing saw it as a being important to their boss and worked hard to do it well.

None of those surprise me, none seem wrong. We care about what we measure and are measured on. Transparency is not without its pains, but I’ll take it over the alternative.

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