Stewardship and usefulness: Policy principles for information-based transparency

Dawes, Sharon S.
October 2010
Government Information Quarterly;Oct2010, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p377
Academic Journal
This paper is a conceptual and empirical exploration of the tensions inherent in the drive to increase openness and transparency in government by means of information access and dissemination. The idea that democratic governments should be open, accessible, and transparent to the governed is receiving renewed emphasis through the combination of government reform efforts and the emergence of advanced technology tools for information access. Although these initiatives are young, they already exhibit daunting complexity, with significant management, technology, and policy challenges. A variety of traditional and emerging information policy frameworks offer guidance, while diverse research perspectives highlight both challenges to and opportunities for promoting information-based transparency. Early experience with Data.gov, a central component of the U.S. Open Government Initiative, suggests that two fundamental information policy principles, stewardship and usefulness, can help guide and evaluate efforts to achieve information-based transparency.


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