Transparency Occasional Paper 4: Transparency in practice

  • Authors: Andrew Stott
  • Format: Occasional Paper
  • Published Date: 01 August 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. 

Being able to justify public sector behaviour and decisions to the community has become particularly relevant in the age of austerity. This paper examines the United Kingdom experience of implementation of the UK Government Transparency Policy. The paper discusses a number of issues the UK Government encountered, such as development of standards for consistent and comparable reporting, accessibility of data and the role the community and industry can contribute to effective transparency implementation. The paper concludes that transparency has made a difference, and that publication of data is having a material effect on the behaviour and culture of public officials. Expense claims for senior civil servants dropped by 40‐50% since they were first published in 2009. Energy consumption reduced by 15% as a result of publishing real‐time energy consumption information. 

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