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Can the government have too much transparency?

Angela Canterbury

Angela Canterbury, director of public policy at the Project On Government Oversight, shown testifying March 13 to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. (Committee photo)

To the story "Legislators claim culture of secrecy threatens open government," reader Walter of Washington D.C. writes: Part of the problem with too much transparency is that anything Congress has access to is on TV five minutes later, and the Internet two minutes after that. Congress is asking for information from the executive branch they won't provide to the public themselves. I want to see my congressman's appointment calendar so I can see whom he spends his time listening to, what lobbyists visit how often and so on. I am not holding my breath waiting for any of this to change that situation.

Camille Tuutti responds: Is there such a thing as "too much transparency," unless we are talking about legitimately classified information? With the proliferation of the Internet and social media, information gets spread at break-neck speeds. A double-edged sword for sure, but I am positive it contributes to more transparency in government. As for your idea on making public the calendars of members of Congress, that is certainly an interesting idea! I have no doubt it would provide interesting insight into the visitors and topics discussed at the Senate and House buildings. But I agree with you: I don'’t see that happening anytime soon.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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