The transparency balancing act


As we talk to people about the reporting requirements for the stimulus act, we hear two significant complaints:

1) Important information is missing
2) The task of supplying the information already there is onerous.

It’s a tricky balance, to be sure.  In our search for thoughtful commentary on questions of transparency, we’ve been entertained and educated by  the The Fine Print, a terrific blog  associated with It has been doing a great job this week of staying on top of the Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive.

Consider the following comment from the federal Office of Management and Budget that The Fine Print highlights:

“A clear lesson from the Federal government’s experience with the website is that, given the numerous stakeholders involved in the federal spending process and the complexity of underlying systems, all efforts to improve transparency must include thoughtful consideration of the costs and benefits of various implementation approaches.”

And while you’re visiting The blog, be sure to check out its breakdown of Open Government plans and memos and thoughts about some of the limits within those plans.


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