Monday, May 31, 2010

A new age of transparency?

David Cameron has apparently written a letter to all government departments, laying out his plans for greater transparency.
He said: "Greater transparency is at the heart of our shared commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account."

Hospitals will start publishing data on infection rates online from this week - initially releasing three months of information before producing weekly statistics from July.

Details of large government contracts will be published from September, items of central government spending from November and local government spending over £500 from next January.

Civil servants earning more than £150,000 will be named and their salaries disclosed, and this figure will be lowered to £58,000 later in the year.

In a podcast on the Downing Street website over the weekend, Mr Cameron said: "If there's one thing I've noticed since doing this job, it's how all the information about government - the money it spends, where it spends it, the results it achieves - how so much of it is locked away in a vault marked sort of 'private for the eyes of ministers and officials only'.

"I think this is ridiculous. It's your money, your government, you should know what's going on. So we're going to rip off that cloak of secrecy and extend transparency as far and as wide as possible.

"By bringing information out into the open you'll be able to hold government and public services to account."

This is very encouraging—let us see if it actually happens...

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