Articles on Transparency

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Just like the characters of The Big Short, its time to pick up the warning signs of a global financial crisis. Paramount Pictures

Shadow banking increases the risk of another global financial crisis

The financial products offered by the shadow banking sector allow investors to be further removed from their investments and banks to escape regulation, increasing the risk in the sector overall.
If the government wants to get serious about tax evasion it should create a public register for beneficial owners of companies. Martin Philbey/AAP

To really tackle corporate tax evasion we need a public register

The government should follow through on setting up a register of beneficial ownership of companies if it wants to get serious about tax evasion.
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.

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