Sell Out Public Services ?

Enthusiastics of transparency, which most readers of this book are, should be aware of two mayo pitfalls that may mar this achievement.

The first is that government transparency, though driven by progressive impulses, may draw excessive attention to government’s mistakes and so have the consequence of  reinforcing a conservative image of government as incompetent and corrupt. The second is that all this energy devoted to making open government comes at he expense of leaving the operations of large private sector organizationsc- banks, manufacturers, health providers, food producers, drug companies, and the like -opaque and secret. In the major industrialized democraciaes (but not in many developing countries or in authoritarian regimes), these private sector organizations threaten the health and well-being of citizens at least as much as government. “

The remedy for this sencond pitfall is to marshall forces in government and the civic sector into a movement for a open society

“Open Government, Open Society” Chapter 8 of Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice (New York: O’Reilly Media, 2010) (with David Weil): 105-114.



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