Italy presents now an interesting case on transparency, with its recent government change.
The old government, as mentioned before, just before leaving office published all data on income declaration of Italian citizens in 2006. These data are public by law, although the law of course (of 1973) did not envisage the impact of the Internet on information publicity. Data have then been taken down from the website following a request of the Privacy authority.
The new government, particularly the new Minister for Public Administration, puts large emphasis on transparency. It has therefore published (on the website as indigestible pdf, and an extract on the largest national newspaper) the full list of consultants paid by public administration, together with their salary, at national and local level.
Several friends of mine, temporary workers working full time for the public administration, were “named and shamed” on the largest italian newspaper.
Of course, the newspaper did not mention the length of the contract, so that you could not understand if 50K Euros was for a few days work or for a year’s work. Also, the publication on the newspaper only focused on one body (the national agency for public administration).
So, very partial transparency indeed, and going mainly against many the temporary workers of public administration. Anyway, I think it’s a false step but in the right direction (it would be stage 2 in the methodology I proposed for benchmarking eGovernment 2.0). The problem lies in the fact that there has been not enough transparency, and selective, not too much.
What do you think?