Policy Discussion: Transparency and Accountability

Policy Discussion: Transparency and Accountability

This week’s Platform discussion is about Transparency & Accountability.

Government transparency is its obligation to share information with its citizens so they can make informed decisions and hold officials, both elected and administrative, accountable for the conduct of your City’s business.

In recent years, transparency legislation has increased, and this is a good thing. Transparency is a key element of public trust and confidence. A commitment to transparency demonstrates that the City and its officials have nothing to hide.  Citizens not only deserve to know how their money is being collected and spent, they also deserve to have a say in those decisions.

One way the City of Spruce Grove is actively transparent and promotes accountability is through the website and other various forms of digital communications.

Increasing Conscientious Observance of Transparency Initiatives

Of course, there are always ways to do better. It’s not enough to just churn out reports and make them available through FOIP requests or on the website (data dumping). The information needs to be accessible, in that, it’s also understandable.

To achieve transparency, the City must provide information about its activities and governance that is accurate, complete, and made available in a timely way. Of course, this doesn’t mean all information should be made publicly available, and believe there are fair legislative parameters outlined.

I believe the City can improve on its transparency and accountability through:

  • Clearer, and easier to read reports - particularly financial; and,
  • Increasing citizen interaction and decision making inputs

Transparency enables accountability, and I will continue to advocate for this on your behalf. Is there a place where you would like better transparency? Send me a note- I’d love to hear from you!