Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency

A lot has been written in legal, ethical and leadership circles about responsibility, accountability and transparency. Or, as I like to refer to it, RAT.

One 2011 law review article crystalized the importance of addressing these concerns in the context of the abhorrent practices in the prison system in the South. The authors’ observations and conclusions transfer to government officials in any context and all over the nation (be it “up North” in Oakland County or “out West” in Colorado Springs):

First, no good comes from permitting government officials to perform their duties in secret. Second, officials who have been accustomed to operating without accountability are loath to relinquish the power that comes from conducting their business without public scrutiny. Third, when public officials resist efforts to shine a light on their activities, there is often something to hide. Fourth, public scrutiny is often a prerequisite for changing harmful, entrenched practices.

Geraghty & Velez, 22 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 455 (6/5/2011)


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