It’s the first full day on the job for a whole host of statewide elected and appointed officials today, so I wanted to take the opportunity to welcome them and remind them of importance of government transparency.
It’s been a exciting few years in government transparency, especially when it comes to finding more information online: Open Books, OK.gov and our own Your Right to Know page. But as those of us involved in the daily gathering of news and facts can attest, it’s not always as easy as looking up something on Google or on a state website. Sometimes you have to beg, plead and cajole for public information. And sometimes the disclosure of that information can be embarrassing, politically or otherwise, for a politician or agency.
On my cubicle wall is a quote from an anonymous federal government employee: “No one was ever promoted for disclosing information.”
That’s why I hope these newly elected and appointed officials will continue to build upon government openness and transparency in Oklahoma. It’s easy to campaign on “transparency,” but the real test is in governing and leading.
Each of the new leaders has an opportunity on Day One to set the tone for their offices. I’m sure some are also figuring out where the bathrooms are, but I hope they also take some time to review departmental policies to see they fit within the confines of transparency, the public interest and openness.
Written by Paul Monies