Communities rely on their government leaders to act in the best interests of everyone. To support group objectives, people often spend considerable time comparing candidates and supporting those they believe will uphold the values of their community.
When government leaders engage in unethical conduct or provide vague information about their activities, they can lose credibility with those they serve. Contrarily, when governments prioritize transparency and involve their community in making decisions, they can build trust and rapport.
Developing a plan
Without a plan to maintain transparency, governments cannot provide adequate expectations for their citizens. According to the Open Government at the National Archives, an official Open Government Plan targets critical areas of operation including transparency. Points of discussion within the plan may include the following:
- Information publication
- Information dissemination
- Information accessibility
- Governmental conduct
- Leadership changes
- Responsiveness to public concern
One of the largest benefits of governmental transparency is that it encourages accountability from leaders. When the public has firsthand knowledge of what happens in regards to decision-making, government leaders have more incentive to comply. This may decrease the risks of questionable conduct and situations that compromise the public’s trust and resources.
According to Diligent Insights, when a government prioritizes transparency, they can build the public’s trust and simultaneously strengthen their credibility. Even in situations where an outcome strays from a publicized plan, governments that show complete transparency throughout the process can better maintain public trust. They can also encourage involvement from the community to identify solutions and correct the situation or at the very least, prevent a similar outcome from happening again.