GovernmentTransparency in California
GovernmentTransparency in California
Thegovernment is a sensitive political system. Human welfare such ashealth, education, security and maintenance of law solely lies withinits control. Many a times, the government has to make decisions thatmight affect the people for many years afterward. However, sinceadministration involves the ruling of people, there is much need fortransparency in that all the decisions made are subject to scrutinyby the entire subjects that are involved. The California stategovernment has the ethical and moral duty to ensure that there istransparency in its endeavor to provide crucial services to itspeople (Editors, 2012). In the recent years, a lot of changes haveoccurred in several government jurisdictions that are meant toimprove governance by ensuring transparency. Precision is importantin any activity that involves many people because it will help toprevent conflicts that might arise when crucial decisions are made inthe darkness.
Thesisstatement.Transparency in the state government of California has been enhancedto improve the trust of the people in the government and decreaseconflicts through making the operation, financial and plans of thegovernment readily available to the citizens.
Thedimensions of transparency include openness, accountability, andcommunication. It also entails operating in such a way that it ispossible and easy for others to see what actions are done orperformed. It can also be described as the ethical quality of doingthings in a way that everyone knows what is happening. Transparencyis mostly needed in companies, communities, administrations andorganizations. It gives guidance on the revelation of relevantinformation from governments to its subjects. For instance, it isessential that before a government employs more workers that it letspeople know its intentions so that everyone interested in suchpositions apply and compete favorably (Editors, 2012).
Ambiguityhas always been a cause of problems since there is minimal opennessin the making of decisions that are sensitive to the people. Poorcommunication can be argued to be the cause of many problems in theworld. Proper passage of information can be enhanced greatly byclarity in all human engagements. The call for intelligibility is oneof the major desires that people normally require of theirgovernments (Albalate, 2012). A transparent activity is that whichincludes the participation of all the relevant parties and done in amanner that everyone sees what happens. Conflicts all over the worldoccur because some people decide to do things in ambiguity, thus,making the disgruntled individuals to fight for their involvement. Itgives a chance for people to understand how certain things were doneor should be accomplished (Albalate, 2012). Moreover, there is roomfor participation and contribution from the relevant people.
Governancein the United States of America is characterized by high level oftransparency whenever it is required. The constitution provides thatcitizens should not shy away from criticizing the government. Theroom to point out the wrongs of a government is pertinent since, inthe absence of criticism, no government can succeed. Moreover, instates that are much diversified such as California, openness ongovernance ensures that no one feels left out. The law enforcers suchas the police play an important role because they are the most activefunction of the government. The publication of government deeds hasimpacted the state of California in many ways. It creates a positivefeeling among the citizens that the government is listening andconcerned about their welfare. Additionally, it provides a platformfor the involvement of the public in the drafting and making ofpolicies. It is important to involve the people in decision makingbecause the policies will affect them most (Bertot et al., 2012).
Thecall for the publication of public records has increased in therecent years. The state of California has complied with thisrequirement in that it has provided a platform that they call‘Transparency and Open Data Movements’. The United States ofAmerica Public Interest Group has been evaluating the openness instate governments over six years. They found out that the year 2015saw recommendable improvements on the quantity of information in thestate of California that was provided to the public, especiallyonline. The report also revealed that the cities within California,where the number of open data concerning the government operations isaccessible to the public, has gone up ever since it was introduced inthe year 2013 (Buell & Norton, 2013).
Instancesof Violations of Transparency
However,not everyone is complying with this requirement, especially where itcomes to the handling of public records request. Some governmentofficials in California have had a hard time in producing the crucialinformation under their jurisdiction. Several reasons make thisbecome such a hard task. For instance, there are offices like theones that are responsible for the security of the state, which arecautious about the kind of information that they share to the public(Bertot et al., 2012). Transparency within the security docket needsto be handled in absolute secrecy because lawbreakers might use itagainst the interest of the state. Another factor that might causediscreetness in government operations is when some officials areinvolved in unlawful acts. This triggers them to withhold importantinformation on the grounds of self-interest. Therefore, as much asopenness is vital in governance, there is a level at which it doesapply. Nevertheless, no public official should fear public scrutinybecause it results in support or opposition and both are necessary(Dickinson, 2013).
Transparencyis also evident in the electoral system. The fact that people areallowed to choose leaders of their preference is an excellentindication of intelligibility. Governments are run by individuals whoare elected by the people. This means that the residents ofCalifornia are at liberty to choose the leaders they think willencourage honesty. Moreover, these elected leaders have a duty toensure the existence of openness in their areas of representationbecause they are servants of the people who elected them (Californialocal governments oppose prop 46, 2014). It will be a violation ofthe moral and ethical requirement if government officials are towithhold information that is crucial to the people who gave them themandate to hold the particular public offices (Editors, 2012).
Inan effort to make requests for public records faster, cheaper andeasier, the government of California is publishing them online forany interested person to see. State and federal laws in Californiaprovide a complex set of requirements that guide agency staff andelected officials in their service to the communities that theyrepresent. There are stipulated legal and ethical obligations ofbeing a public servant. Ethics is what one must do more, preciselythe behaviors that would make the world a better place. The keyquestions that come with ethics are: How does the conscientiousgovernment officially determine the right thing to do when it comesto serving the public: Second, how one incorporate value into theworkplace? The ethical values ensure that government officials at alltimes practice a high level of transparency (Bertot et al., 2012).The Institute for Global Ethics identifies moral principles that arecommon to all religions and cultures that should be practiced bypublic servants. The main resistance to the policy of publicinformation in California comes from the media. Journalist and mediahouses are heavy users of government records. They typically fearthat their information might not be relevant to the people because itcan either be retrieved without necessarily using their sources(Graham, 2011).
TransparencyStrategies in California
Transparencyis a fundamental element of public trust and assurance. A commitmentto transparency affirms to the citizens that the government and itsofficials have nothing to hide from the public. There are severalways that the government of California shows this commitment. First,it has the passion for engaging the public. This is done usingnumerous channels that provide the room for questioning whateverendeavor the government undertakes (Lapsley & Ríos, 2015).Second, the government of California has a conscious observance ofthe transparency policies and laws. These plans have been put inplace by either the state or the federal government. Violation ofthe requirements can be subject to prosecution in a court of law by aresident of California. Third, there is a concerted effort by thegovernment of California to share the public records with itscitizens concerning the local decision making and operations.
PositiveEffects of Transparency in the Government of California
Thereare numerous benefits of transparency by the government ofCalifornia. First, people begin to trust the functioning of thegovernment in offering vital services. Without trust, the chances ofchaos and uprisings against the government are likely to occur.Confidentiality and discreteness cannot go hand in hand with a freeand open society. Second, people will be able to evaluate the valueof their taxes. The taxpayers need to know how their money was spent.This can either be responsible for rashly, in which each turn outwill have different reactions amongst the citizens. Third, thegovernment officials will be in a position to account for theiractions under transparency. It is prudent that performing andnon-performing officials be evaluated accordingly. Fourth, withtransparency, the citizens of California can examine the policiesthat the government implements. The majority of the systems aresubjected to an open and free election in which people decide uponthe issue (Mitchell, 2011). For instance, in the 2016 generalelection, the people of California had a chance to endorse thelegalization of recreational marijuana. This is consideredtransparent because everyone in the state was involved in thecritical policymaking (Entertainment Close, 2012).
Inconclusion, activities done transparently are not subjected todisputes. The government of California has in the recent pastendeavored to ensure that it conducts its operations in a transparentway. However, there can be limitations to the transparency because ofthe sensitivity of the issue in question. Openness is a core ethicalrequirement that the government officials and servants must follow.Ever, since the government of California adopted the policy oftransparency, there have been remarkable outcomes such as restoringthe much needed trust from members of the public. All said, it is thebearer of the government of California to ensure that these positivesstride that have been achieved do not fade away.
Albalate,D. (2012). The institutional, economic and social determinants oflocal government transparency. St. Louis: Federal Reserve Bankof St Louis. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/1698613076?accountid=45049
Bertot,J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Grimes, J. M. (2012). Promotingtransparency and accountability through ICTs, social media, andcollaborative e-government. Transforming Government: People,Process and Policy, 6(1), 78-91.doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17506161211214831
Buell,R. W., & Norton, M. I. (2013). Surfacing the submerged statewith operational transparency in government services. St. Louis:Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/1698416425?accountid=45049
Californialocal governments oppose prop 46, call it a "potential budgetbuster". (2014, Jul 23). PR Newswire Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/1547724769?accountid=45049
EntertainmentClose – Up (2012). Data transparency coalition launches toadvocate standardization of federal data published online. Retrievedfrom http://search.proquest.com/docview/1002457822?accountid=45049
Dickinson,J. G. (2013). EMA transparency plan gets FDA`s interest. MedicalMarketing and Media, 48(8), 11. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/1432716181?accountid=45049
Editors,B. (2012), May 04). Southern California association of governments,San Diego association of governments hold forum to coordinateregional planning priorities. Business Wire Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/446674185?accountid=45049
Graham,F. S. (2011). Examining open government at the education department.Public Manager, 40(4), 50-53. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/914990917?accountid=45049
Lapsley,I., & Ríos, A. (2015). Making sense of government budgeting: Aninternal transparency perspective. Qualitative Research inAccounting and Management, 12(4), 377-394. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/1732339852?accountid=45049
Mitchell,H. (2011). Egovernment sites: Starting to take transparencyseriously. EContent, 34(4), 8-9, 12. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/865377180?accountid=45049