A major study in Mexico has identified a variety of non-legal factors that facilitate a strong transparency system.
The results were presented at The First Global Conference on Transparency Research held May 19-20 at Rutgers University-Newark, N.J. (See overall report in FreedomInfo.org.)
Researchers from the Mexican Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) looked at the federal government, 32 state governments and 96 municipal governments.
“The central argument is that diversity in the functioning of the right to information system is not explained only by differences in the legal framework, but mainly by variation in the degree of institutionalization and in concrete administrative practices,” they reported.
The paper suggests the need to strengthen the transparency system, with emphasis on inputs (i.e., the way in which the government generates and makes public information available) and on the demand for information (i.e., by expanding public use of this right). To a broader audience, it offers both an example of a systematic assessment of the functioning of national and sub-national transparency systems, and an argument about the difficulties of implementing open government policies in heterogeneous contexts.
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