On his very first day in the White House, President Obama sent signed memoranda to all ministers and government agencies. His government promised to establish an “unprecedented level of openness.” They would all work together to “ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” Fast forward five years, and the same administration is being pilloried for having a “secrecy fixation” and labeled an “abject failure on transparency” in the media. And yet President Obama himself in a Google Hangout appearance earlier this year reiterated his conviction that his administration was the most transparent in history. So who is right? Real information vs. raw data That depends on what you consider transparency, say experts working on governmental accountability and openness. “If we are talking about the proactive release of data and information, there has been an unprecedented amount of information posted on websites and shared with the American people and the world,” notes Angela Canterbury, public policy director at the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight in Washington, DC. So if you measure government transparency by the technical release of data, as well as the launch of operational measures to improve the administrative work flow… Read full this story
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