Accountability and Transparency: Finding the Correct Balance

In an age when information on just about anything is available with the click of a mouse, it is not surprising that governments are using technology to share financial data in the name of accountability and transparency. Accountability and transparency are essential components of what most would consider to be good government. But it also raises some questions. For instance, just because information can be made available, is it by default valuable or meaningful? Is data timeliness or accuracy more important? Can information shared by our governments for the sake of fiscal responsibility put us at risk? Transparency projects being implemented by the federal government and by states around the country are providing some answers to those questions.

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About the Author
Thomas H. McTavish, CPA, is president of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. He has served as Michigan’s auditor general since 1989. He
is a retired captain, U.S. Naval Reserve. He is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University. In addition to being a member of NASACT, he is also a member of various professional
organizations, including the National State Auditors Association, of which he is a past president.

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