This issue of the Transparency Times has a particular focus on transparency in government. It highlights a number of areas where the Government, politicians and public servants can be doing a much better job.
There is a common theme where aspirations and promises are not flowing through to application.
Purchasing influence talks about the TINZ response to potential changes to the Electoral Act. While we enthusiastically support many of the proposed changes, they fall well short of what is needed to mitigate the corrupting nature of money in politics.
Andrew Ecclestone, Deputy Chair, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties, writes about a disturbing trend of legislative exemptions to Official Information Act requirements. He asks “How are we to know about any integrity or performance issues if we have no right to the relevant information?”
In December we collaborated with seven other Civil Society organisations in documenting the need for government commitment to the Open Government Partnership. Rochelle Stewart-Allen from Hui E! reports on the Civil Society OGP Briefing for Minister Hipkins Dec 2021.pdf titled Open Government Partnership: Summer Reading from Civil Society.
TINZ Members with Delegated Authority Laurence Millar and Lexi Mills are tracking agency compliance in updating the Government Electronic Tender System with procurement awards and finding the results disappointing.
Keitha Booth, Independent Reporting Mechanism Researcher for the New Zealand Open Government Partnership, is seeking public comment on her report about the results of New Zealand’s third national action plan. The draft suggests that solid progress has been made on one commitment but not on others.
The articles are not saying that the New Zealand Government and our public servants are corrupt. By and large our public servants are governed by ethics and concerned about the common good. But this is hard won and easily lost. Prevention requires open transparent governance.