Why ‘transparency drive’ is no easy trip

I’ve only just got around to looking at this in detail, but Number 10’s Transparency website has done an amazing job of making the workings of Government accessible to the public.

People can find out about departmental business plans, senior civil servants’ pay, what Ministers are doing and a raft of performance statistics.

If they had wanted, interested parties could have found out most of this information before.

But it would have taken a lot more effort and understanding of how to get around Government to achieve it.

I would have loved such public disclosure as a journalist, and I welcome it now (no really!). I’ve always had a fascination for the way it can lay bare the workings of Government, even though this can only ever tell part of the story. ‘Why’ is as important an element of the narrative as ‘who’s spent how much on what?’ This transparency drive provides an opportunity to explain this fully to members of the public, at a point when they are most interested in what we do. We should jump at the chance.

There is one thing I’ve spotted tonight, however, which already needs updating on one of the charts relating to a significant new member of staff at DCLG.

As the website says, keeping these details up to date is a massive task. Hats off to everyone involved in getting to this stage.