Transparency Occasional Paper 1: Transparency and public sector performance

  • Authors: Richard Mulgan
  • Format: Occasional Paper
  • Published Date: 05 July 2012

This series of papers is designed to show how transparency can be used as a means to the end: effective policy implementation while minimising costs to the taxpayer. In the series there are papers that show the impact of transparency in improving public sector performance, productivity, implementation, integrity, and innovation. 

This paper evaluates the evidence about the impact of transparency on public sector performance. While there are few empirical studies, there are many case studies which show that in particular settings, the publishing of performance statistics does improve performance. Mulgan discusses the mechanisms through which this is achieved and the barriers, including the dynamics associated with vested interests, and some of the genuine concerns which can be addressed if appropriate planning and consultation takes place.

These Occasional Papers are jointly published by ANZSOG and the Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland.