Accountability and Transparency
Accountability and transparency are not buzzwords, but instead important principles of public life. The Cardon Banfield Foundation has been working with organisations in Worcestershire to enhance their accountability and transparency through our "Accountability and Transparency Benchmarking Tool for organisations".
One example of our work in this area is the landmark decision by the Information Commissioner which ruled that local authorities must publish the costs of Safeguarding Reviews undertaken by Safeguarding Boards. This decision is important for many reasons including allowing the taxpayer to see where their money is being spent.
The Foundation has laid out a set of measures that ensure accountability and transparency is at the heart of any organisation - whilst appreciating some decisions, documents or conversations must be kept confidential. If an organisation meets these, they are awarded a Platinum Award which can be showcased on their documents, social media and website.
Some of our measures include:
- Have an employee or volunteer who has direct responsibility for accountability and transparency and incorporate this into their job title.
- If exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (or relevant legislation), you should act as if you were not exempt and enable the public to formally ask you for information and release it.
- When you spend public money on a project, publish the cost alongside any PR or press release.
- Use the Nolan Principle definitions for ‘accountability’ and ‘transparency’ and publish these on your website.
- Allow access for members of the public to attend meetings which discuss issues that directly affect them.
- Publish an annual report on your website on how your organisation is making sure they are accountable and transparent and, if necessary, any actions you will take to ensure these are met.
All organisations are welcome to discuss their status as an accountable and transparent organisation and we encourage you to read our Benchmarking Tool.