According to the majority of thosed who responded to poll, transparency and government are anything but synonymous

With the 3rd Annual Business of Government Summit, which is focused on the central theme “Building a Transparent, Collaborative and High-Performance Government Capable of Addressing the Challenges of the 21st Century” scheduled for the end of the month, the PI Window on Business decided to take the question of transparency to the marketplace. Specifically, we asked “What does the word transparency mean to you in the government procurement process?”

Perhaps and not surprisingly, rather than transparency, a more appropriate word would be cynicism.

To the majority of those who have responded to the poll that was just posted yesterday afternoon, it is difficult to find anyone who truly believes that transparency in government is a desired, let alone achievable goal.

Here are excerpts from just a few of the responses we have received, which have come from a diverse group of individuals including two authors – one an expert on public sector procurement, a retired aerospace contracts manager and a non-profit government relations & strategic communications veteran.

“It is supposed to mean that one can see the results of any contractual “spend”. It may not be do-able in a practical manner, as has been pointed out by some answers already.

However, the stimulus program demand transparency – hence the tact that over half of the stimulus funds have yet to be awarded – no plan for transparency.

Be interesting to hear what you hear at the conference!”

Mark Amtower,Foremost B2G Marketing Consultant and Social Media Strategist

“A pain in the butt as the processes can often go over the top in terms of simply doing business!”

Mark Buzan,Non-profit Government Relations & Strategic Communications

“We must understand that the sheer size of the mechanism that runs the government will never be seriously evaluated and made more efficient by politicians and the civil servants that run it. It is not in their personal interest to do so and personal interest and personal fortunes are what has driven the popular culture recently – at least up to now.

The big machine must go bankrupt and totally run out of funding and credibility, then be re-sized like any machine that has become dangerous or is malfunctioning.”

Kenneth Larson,Retired Aerospace Contracts Manager, SCORE Volunteer Counselor and Founder, “Small to Feds”

“I don’t know that transparency (people outside government seeing what people inside government are doing) is really the issue.

The bigger issue is what happens with the extra visibility?

An example from Washington State was performance audits were published that showed ways to reduce waste in current government programs.

The end result?

The politicians cut the State Auditor’s budget…and didn’t fix the problems.”

Mike McRitchie,Director of Operations at RealCom Associates, LLC

“It is my observation that openness, honesty, transparency and ethics is for the plebs like me who believe in them. At a certain stratospheric level it is all about who can be sacrificed for the greater good.

Examples: 80+ billion disappeared intended for rebuilding Iraq, funds intended in the name of peace, billions taken from the American people and spread freely into corporate coffers in the name of security. Result… no peace and security.

Companies using corrupt unethical practices and when they are caught losing billions in government contracts. Result… Ethics courses commanded for the workforce with refusal as cause for termination for those who were in no way responsible for what happened.

Transparency… Bah! Humbug!”

Padric O’Rouark,Author at synergebooks, Title: Salvage, When Salvation Fails

As you can tell, while there are many interesting opinions regarding the concept of transparency in government, very few respondents so far – in fact none – have expressed the opinion that it is a truly achievable objective.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them here or if you are a member of LinkedIn via the following Government Transparency Question link.

The PI Window on Business Show Live and On-Site

The PI Window on Business Show will be on the road covering the 3rd Annual Business of Government Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC on the 27th and 28th of April.

PI Window on Business Show . . . Radio Has Never Sounded Better!

Broadcasting live from the venue itself, the PI Window on Business Broadcast Booth which this year is sponsored by Elcom International, will cover key sessions of the conference as well as on the spot interviews with conference attendees and participants.

"Building Bridges"

Special Event Page and New Essential Connections Blog

Over the next few days, we will be setting-up a special Government Summit Event Page here on the Procurement Insights Blog where you will be able to check the dates and times of the various sessions we will be covering for you live.

During the summit we will also be replaying the highlights from a number of recent segments which aired on the PI Window on Business Show, including a special replay of the Colin Cram Towards Tesco Interview.

Remember to check out the NEW Essential Connections Blog, as well as our summit sponsor Elcom’s Public Sector Supplier Group on LinkedIn.

The Essential Connections Blog features guest posts by industry experts such as Judy Bradt, IACCM’s Tim Cummins and Mark Amtower to name just a few.

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