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Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government

Overview

Over the last four decades the public trust in government in the United States has fallen dramatically due to a "perfect storm" of contributing factors, such as a seemingly never ending string of political scandals, partisan polarization and toxic attack politics, and miserable failures to respond to natural disasters or the devastation of the Great Recession. This book contains the academic presentations that were made at the Symposium on Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government that was held at the ...

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Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government

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Overview

Over the last four decades the public trust in government in the United States has fallen dramatically due to a "perfect storm" of contributing factors, such as a seemingly never ending string of political scandals, partisan polarization and toxic attack politics, and miserable failures to respond to natural disasters or the devastation of the Great Recession. This book contains the academic presentations that were made at the Symposium on Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government that was held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on September 17, 2007. In particular, the Symposium focused upon how improving transparency in governmental operations could be used to assuage some of the popular doubts about and hostility toward America's governments. There was certainly a very broad consensus at the Symposium that transparency in government is extremely desirable, needs to be improved, will bring reform and improvement to the public sector, and should make a major contribution to the restoration of the public trust in the United States. Indeed, support for improved transparency can be found across the political spectrum, as both conservatives and liberals believe that more openness in government will promote parts of their very different policy agendas. Truly, transparency appears to be an all-American issue. The discussion at the Symposium revolved around three broad themes. The first concerned transparency about government operations per se, such as how decisions were made and what detailed budgets are. A second and somewhat broader theme concerned greater transparency of "performance measures" which tell us what the effects of specific policies are and how effective or efficient government agencies are. Third and even more broadly, some of the participants argued that general questions of governance provide the key for a renewal of public trust among our citizenry. This book of presentations at the Symposium is organized into four parts based on this distinction. Part I contains

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Editorial Reviews

John Sibley Butler
Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government provides an excellent discussion of the major issues involved in the debate about transparency in government. It provides a sophisticated discussion of efforts to improve governmental transparency with a special emphasis on budgets and performance measures and covers a wide range of topics, presenting contrasting perspectives on transparency. This book is an outstanding contribution to academic scholarship. The issue of transparency is under represented in the current literature and this book covers valuable issues relating to transparency in government.
Dave Rausch
Readers looking for solutions to the lack of trust in government will find guidance in this slim volume. The essays consider the promises and pitfalls with increasing governmental transparency at all levels.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739145449
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Pages: 122
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cal Clark is professor of political science and the director of the MPA Program at Auburn University. Don-Terry Veal is director of Auburn University's Center for Governmental Services.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government 3 Part I: The Challenge 4 Chapter 1: The Challenge of Resurrecting the Public Trust 5 Chapter 2: Serving the Public to Restore the Public Trust 6 Part II: Promoting Transparency 7 Chapter 3: Promoting Transparency in Local Governments 8 Chapter 4: Bringing Transparency to Public Budgeting 9 Chapter 5: Using the Internet to Create Transparency in State Budgets 10 Chapter 6: Transparency in the Contracting Process 11 Chapter 7: Higher Education as Transparency Challenged 12 Chapter 8: Transparency and Cleaning Up Local Governments 13 Chapter 9:Measuring Government Performance and Officials' Qualifications 14 Chapter 10: A "Bottoms Up" Approach to State Transparency 15 Chapter 11: Issues in Transparency and Restoring the Public Trust 16 Part III: Performance Measures and Reform 17 Chapter 12: Measuring Government Performance to Promote Transparency 18 Chapter 13: Transparency and Measuring What Governments Do 19 Chapter 14: Targeted Transparency 20 David Weil 21 Chapter 15: Transparency in the Broader Context of Governance and Civic Engagement 22 Part IV: Transforming General Governance 23 Chapter 16: Making a Difference in People's Lives to Regain the Public Trust 24 Chapter 17: The Need to Establish the Purpose of Government 25 Paula Gordon 26 Chapter 18: Civic Engagement and Transparency for Regaining the Public Trust 27 Contributors

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