Transparency is not only revealing what an agency has done, but should include how it got there. It’s easy to present results in a very desirable light that obscures sleazy, unlawful practices.
I believe that as long as agencies are responsible for determining for themselves what to disclose, true transparency is unattainable. There just aren’t any agency heads, to include the author of the policy, willing to voluntarily put out there information that is going to make them look bad unless they are forced to.
For instance, in yesterday’s release as reported in Federal Computer Week:
Administration officials drafted the new directive in a way that lets agencies implement broad open government objectives in whatever way seems best, Kundra said.
The goal of the directive is to change “the default setting of the public sector from that of being secretive, opaque and closed to one that is open, transparent and participatory,” he said.
I sure don’t think that letting ‘agencies implement broad open government objectives in whatever way seems best’ will result in a public sector ‘that is open, transparent and participatory’. Whatever seems best is going to be whatever protects my job and reputation.