Those of you that know me may have heard me talk about transparency, and how I feel this is important for good public service. I think that civil servants being more transparent about their work could have various potential benefits:
- Greater accountability
- Better learning / sharing of best practice
- Promotes understanding of what civil servants ‘actually do’
Ultimately, the public pay my salary so there’s a reasonable argument they should be able to see what they get for the money.
I’ve decided to conduct a personal experiment in transparency and accountability – effectively a form of personal radical transparency. The principal is that I will endeavour to publish as much information about my work as practicable.
The purposes of this experiment are:
- To examine the value of greater transparency from civil servants – for example, does this give greater insight into what I do, or actively obfuscate that? Which things are useful and which aren’t?
- To examine the practical considerations around being transparent – what tools / guidance / best practice / rules might help civil servants be more transparent?
- To identify any other consequencs of transparency – for example, does it affect the way I work and/or the decisions I make, knowing that some of this will be published?
The (initial) ground rules of the experiment are:
- I can’t give details of anything protectively marked / embargoed.
- I can’t give details about my work that give away other people’s information (only my own information).
- I can’t give way details that would otherwise compromise security – for example my personal security.
- I do not have much time to dedicate to this so it will be on a ‘best endeavours’ basis.
- Some of this likely won’t work, won’t be practical or won’t be sustainable – hence it is an experiment.
I’ll be adding more information (in this blog’s new “Transparency” category) over the coming weeks and months so stay tuned. Wish me luck!