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Many are the times that the government is confused with governance. On the contrary, governance is the real act of governing. It is the action that the government does toward fulfillment of its duties. Good governance would require well laid down strategies of articulating government actions, (Picci, 2011). This good governance has several characteristics ranging from public participation, adherence to the rule law, responsiveness to issues, effectiveness, equity, accountability, and transparency. This paper will focus on vividly bringing the transparency as a characteristic of good governance citing example applications in the local government.
Transparency as a characteristic of good governance is banked on the eased flow of information from the realms of power to local citizens. Many are the times that dictatorships shield important information regarding operations of government. This information is crucial for citizens to monitor various institutions and the process undertaken by the government. Transparency has the incentive of promoting openness, participation, and consultation in the processes that the government undertakes. The civil society in many countries plays a crucial role of the normal people’s watchdog, (Godbole, 2003). This keeps track of the government actions and decisions; thus, able to criticize when need be. With transparency would enable availing of such information to the public. If the governments have nothing to going wrong in its activities and provision of services to its citizens, then there is no need of being awed by availing operations information to the public it serves. This act of tracking government decisions and processes can generate possible criticism, but if the transparency was not the rule of the day, then this would be impossible to accomplish. In broader terms, lack of transparency is tantamount to promoting corruption.
According to Argu%u0308den (2009), there are several ways of promoting transparency in governments. Firstly, there should be openness in availing of data to the public; this should enable the public to scrutinize such data. Additionally, the government needs to establish a communication mechanism from where all the thorny issues regarding operation are addressed. Government jobs in many countries have been marred with nepotism and in-depth corruption. Transparency in such areas would entail conducting public interviews for all government jobs, (Argu%u0308den, 2009). This would enable the public to follow the proceeding to ascertain for themselves the level of transparency and fairness in the process.
Local governments need to make and enact laws based on interests of the people and not selfish interests of the few affluent ones in the society. The projects funded by the taxpayers’ money need to b readily communicated and be open for evaluation. Many are the times that taxpayers money is spend in dubious ways; thus, necessitating waste and fraudulent activities. The levies for maintenance and provision of various social amenities should be directed by the local government those functions and not used to smear campaigns for the popular few. The aspect of transparency in local government would be seen to be achieved, if external evaluations on the internal controls in various government expenditure are conducted and results made public. According to Godbole (2003), in government where transparency is highly advocated for, the citizens have faith in the leadership and this promotes cohesiveness, which is necessary to champion, national goals and aspirations.
In conclusion, this paper was focusing on bringing out transparency as a characteristic of good governance citing example applications in the local government. Information provision to the citizens is crucial for monitoring of various institutions and the processes undertaken by the government. Application of transparency in local governments would involve public interviews, provision of data crucial for evaluation by citizens, and accountability regarding execution of projects using taxpayers’ money.
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