Transparency and trust in government (2007-2014): a comparative study


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Transparency and trust in government (2007-2014): a comparative study
Title of the conference
Openness, transparency and ethics in public administration: do they support each other?
Mabillard V., Pasquier M.
Faculty of Public Administration University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia
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9th Trans European Dialogue Conference - TED 9
In a 2000 report entitled "Trust in government. Ethics measures in OECD countries," OECD Secretary-General Donald J. Johnston emphasized the fact that public ethics are considered as a keystone of good governance. Moreover, public ethics are a prerequisite to public trust, which is in turn vital not only to any public service, but also to any society in general. At the same time, transparency reforms have flourished over the last few years and have several times been designed as a response to public distrust. Therefore, ethics, transparency and trust are closely linked together in a supposed virtuous circle where transparency works as a factor of better public ethics and leads to more trust in government on the citizens' side. This article explores the links between transparency and levels of trust in 10 countries between 2007 and 2014, using open data indexes and access to information requests as proxies for transparency. A national ranking of transparency, based on requests submitted by citizens to the administration and open data indexes, is then proposed. Key findings show that there is no sharp decline of trust in government in all countries considered in this article, and that transparency and trust in government are not systematically positively associated. Therefore, this article challenges the common assumption, mostly found in the normative literature, about a positive interrelation between the two, where trust in government is conceived as a beneficial effect of administrative transparency.
Transparency, freedom of information, open data, trust in government, public administration
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15/02/2016 13:07
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