Transparency

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Information commissioner John McMillan (pictured right with then minister Brendan O'Connor) has not been replaced since resigning in June, nor has the FOI commissioner who left in January. AAP/Alan Porritt

Closing down FOI: a case study in sneaky government

In a year and a half the Abbott government managed, in practice, to undo the painstaking reforms of the federal Freedom of Information (FOI) system.
Tony Abbott opens the campaign office for Liberal candidate Ken Wyatt in 2010. Now he and all incumbent MPs enjoy a $300,000 advantage over their challengers at the next election. AAP/Dean Lewins

Budget’s $45m slush fund for MPs is an unethical use of public money

'Better Communities' funding is supposedly non-partisan: every electorate gets $300,000 for local projects. But only incumbent MPs have a say in this spending and 60% of them are government members.
Notions of the ‘right to know’ forced Hillary Clinton to defend her use of a private email account as secretary of state - a far cry from the days when citizens didn’t even know how their representatives voted. EPA/Andrew Gombert

The right to know vs the need for secrecy: the US experience

The idea of the right to know as the 'lifeblood of democracy' is a surprisingly modern development. And in an age when transparency is prized, privacy and secrecy can still be justified in many cases.
Governments produce enormous amounts of data. The open data movement wants to make that available to all citizens. r2hox/Flickr

Good governance and active citizenship require open data

The open data movement is gaining momentum but we need to reflect on our priorities and values in order to make further progress.
Australian producers are struggling to face challenges imposed by a changing screen industry – and greater transparency will benefit everyone. AAP Image/Gaye Gerard

How Australian filmmakers can benefit from sharing information

There is an emerging push for greater transparency in the industry about how films are funded and the profits they return. But can sharing information can help a financially risky industry into the black?

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