Transparency: Walking the Talk

One of the words frequently batted around in discussions about government is the word “transparency”.  Wikipedia defines transparency as implying openness, communication, and accountability


One of my on-going goals has been to walk the talk when it comes to transparency in my office.  For example, since taking office on February 20, 2007, we have added or updated 388 of the 532 documents posted on the Auditor’s portion of Linn County’s web site.  We have posted Election Results, GIS Data Accounts Payable information, Flood Related ContractsMinutes of Board of Supervisors meetings, and many other documents.  (Note:  We provide GazetteOnline with the salaries paid to County employees.)

I’m open to publishing any and all public records in the custody of my office that are not confidential public records (overall, we possess very few confidential records).  The gating factor to publishing more records is time and resources. 

I don’t want to publish everything because some of the data is likely of little interest to the public.  On the other hand, if you notice something missing that would be of interest to you and maybe others, please contact me so I can consider publishing it.  As a matter of law, all of our public records are available in our office for your in-person inspection at anytime during normal office hours and outside of office hours by appointment.

While transparency in government is important at all times, it’s going to become especially important if/when federal and state dollars start to flow into our county.  You/we need to know where the dollars are coming from and to whom they are going to.  Transparency means you can clearly see what happened.  It does not mean you agree with what happened.

I’m doing my part to make Linn County government as transparent as possible.  I could use an extra set of eyes once in a while to look things over and ask questions.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

2 comments on “Transparency: Walking the Talk

  1. February 13, 2009 James Hagen

    As a backup to my tweet. Is it possible to get the lastest sale price of houses on line again??? It was certainly very useful when buying or selling a house in a particular area.


  2. [...] Transparency continued By lcauditor Sometimes you don’t ask the right question.  I think th...
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