Op-Ed: Governments Are Better at Fiscal Transparency, but There’s More to Do (Industry Perspective)

Since the federal Freedom of Information Act was enacted in 1966, transparency has become even more of a hot-button issue across the public sector. All 50 states and many local governments now have their own FOIA laws as well. But while these mandates for transparency enjoy broad support, agencies at all levels of government have limped along in their attempts to abide by them.

At first, governments utilized slow, expensive and inefficient paper-based processes to accommodate citizen and media requests. Everything changed with the advent of the information superhighway. By the mid 1990s, new amendments were written into FOIA that required governments to make certain types of records available electronically and, shortly after, transparency initiatives began migrating online. In this new tech-savvy arena, accessibility became the primary focus of fiscal transparency. Continue…