Transparency in Troubled Times

Tenth World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute, November 2012

Suffolk University Law School Research Paper 12-35

18 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2012 Last revised: 24 Oct 2012

See all articles by Alasdair S. Roberts

Alasdair S. Roberts

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy

Date Written: October 23, 2012

Abstract

Presentation to the Tenth World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute, Wellington, New Zealand. For delivery on 14 November 2012. Difficult economic times are often threatening to the idea of transparency. Financially troubled governments argue that openness is a luxury, not a necessity. And the political uncertainty that is generated by economic troubles sometimes makes governments hesitant about releasing sensitive information. But the reluctance to maintain transparency can have serious consequences. Secretiveness can undermine the legitimacy of governmental action and contribute to political instability. Indeed, the crisis itself can be regarded as the result of multiple failures of transparency in the private and public sectors. The temptation to view openness as a luxury must be resisted. It is precisely at the moment of economic crisis that the idea of transparency is most important.

Keywords: transparency, open government, access to information, freedom of information, right to information, economic crisis, fiscal crisis, austerity

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Alasdair S., Transparency in Troubled Times (October 23, 2012). Tenth World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute, November 2012; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper 12-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2153986 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2153986

Alasdair S. Roberts (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy ( email )

Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
6175999029 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
238
Abstract Views
1,282
rank
131,603
PlumX Metrics