Political Transparency: Strong Disclosure Laws Help Keep Elected Officials Accountable

The past year has seen no shortage of political scandals involving state officials. Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts connected to using his office for personal gain. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos were convicted on corruption charges. Five Pennsylvania state representatives were convicted on bribery, corruption, extortion and conflict-of-interest charges. And Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bribery and filing a false tax return.


Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

Four key principles-accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion-have in recent years become nearly universal features of the policy statements and programs of international development organizations. Yet this apparently widespread new consensus is deceptive: behind the ringing declarations lie fundamental fissures over the value and application of these concepts. Understanding and addressing these divisions is crucial to ensuring that the four principles become fully embedded in international development work.


Editorial: Illinois Pays app another step toward more transparency

One of the ways to improve government is to make it easier for taxpayers to see how money flows through the system. It's often called transparency. The office of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has taken another step in that direction in announcing a new mobile application called Illinois Pays.
The app is free and can be downloaded at the Apple and Google Play stores.


Economic Development Agencies Face New Scrutiny

From Pew Center on the States:

Several states, most of them led by Republican governors, have experimented in recent years with the idea of turning their economic development agencies over to semi-private management. The results have not been uniformly successful. Many of these organizations are struggling to balance job creation with public accountability.


Research Paper — “The Social Layer of Freedom of Information Law”

From Social Science Research Network:

It is now received wisdom that a properly functioning democracy requires transparency and accountability — information shared with the public that allows the public to know what its government is doing. It is equally uncontroversial to say that social media allows for an unprecedented amount of informal but structured dissemination and analysis of information.