Transparency: Citizens Give Congress a Failing Grade

The public isn’t convinced that the government is open with Americans, at least according to our latest research. The ForeSee Results/Nextgov Government Transparency Study measured citizen perceptions of government transparency with the White House and Congress, among other government entities.

Americans give Congress terrible scores in terms of transparency and trust. The White House scores much better, but can hardly be
characterized as a raging success. On the study’s 100-point scale, the
White House scored a 46 and Congress scored a 37 in terms of
transparency (defined as thoroughness of information disclosure, the speed at which it is released, and the ease of accessing it publicly).
The report is based on a national survey of 5,107 respondents.


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Peter Sperry

Anyone who likes good sausage or good legislation should not watch either being made. The politically correct push for ever greater openess in Congress has simply elevated the level of posturing and pandering to the cameras. The only time they make real progress is behind closed doors and even that is becoming more difficult. I once sat in on a meeting with 6 senators plus staff and as soon as we left they room reporters asked questions that clearly indicated someone had used their blackberry to leak confidential discussions in real time. A potential bipartisan agreement on a major piece of legislation collapsed in a matter of minutes.

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Tim Evans

Interestingly, if you read the entire report, you’ll see individual Federal Departments and agencies score substantially higher.

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