Recovery Blog

Students Take On Transparency

Posted in Transparency by Recovery.gov on April 11, 2012

If you’re wondering whether the concept of transparency in government has taken hold outside Washington, D.C., you have only to look at the Utah Transparency Project, the brainchild of twelve students in the Honors Think Tank on Transparency and Privacy at the University of Utah.  This initiative to improve government transparency across the entire state is the result of their recent study of the rapidly evolving and often clashing paradigms of privacy and transparency, particularly as they impact government and people.

The students have developed Five Transparency Best Practices for Local Governments that will be distributed to all local governments with a request that officials adopt the Best Practices in principle and that they implement as soon as possible the practices they deem immediately feasible; governments should work toward implementing the remaining practices.  The students will also be reviewing existing transparency practices in 16 Utah cities and counties.

Additionally, the Think Tank students are also conducting an independent, statewide survey to assess whether Utahans are interested in transparency in government. One group definitely is: The Utah League of Women Voters has officially endorsed the Best Practices. The students also plan on expanding the Transparency Project to local student groups in Utah.

Alice Siempelkamp, Assistant Director, Content, Recovery.gov