How transparent are the Government's actions?

11 November 2011

Members of the Lords, including an advisor to Transparency International UK, debated the Government’s commitment to openness and transparency on Thursday 10 November.

Lord Elton (Conservative), tabled and opened the debate.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Lord Elton said:

"Transparency – the move to open national and local government by releasing a mass of information about its working and decision making – has effects that spread through the polity and economy of the country. It raises highly sensitive issues about the tension between public scrutiny and individual privacy, and can release creative opportunities capable of contributing billions to the economy. 

"The British Government is a world leader, not only in the Transparency of its work at home but in bringing transparency of its aid programme abroad.  Through this, and by helping to establish standard forms of  information giving to be shared by donor and recipient countries in aid programmes, and by promoting both EU and national legislation to require global mining and oil companies to do the same, it is now in a position to bring the same benefits to third world countries dependent on global companies operating within their borders, many of whose citizens live in desperate poverty. 

"The debate will be looking at these issues in both the national and the international context."

Other Members who spoke in the debate include:

  • Lord Wills (Labour), a member of the Advisory Council for Transparency International UK
  • Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield (Crossbench), former journalist and Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

Baroness Warsi (Conservative) responded on behalf of the Government.

Further information

Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.

Image: iStockphoto

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