November 28, 2007

Transparency and Accountability in Louisiana

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Mr. McTigue's analysis of Louisiana indicates that some very important accountability measures are already in place, but the application of these measures is uneven or the documents are obscure or almost impossible to find. Procedures for disclosure, including performance measures for items in the state budget, are often excellent, but simple disclosure alone is not enough. The documents need to be easily accessible to be effective. Transparency must be robust if the public is to exercise its right to approve or disapprove of the performance of its government or its elected representatives. 

In Louisiana, disclosed reports are often scattered through a variety of state Web sites and the information is not presented in a useful format. Unfortunately, poor implementation of good rules causes Louisiana's results to suffer, despite some of its positive statutory requirements.