The Swiss Law on Transparency: Much ado about nothing - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Swiss Law on Transparency: Much ado about nothing

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The Swiss Law on Transparency: Much ado about nothing? Sarah Holsen ... Has implementation of LTrans led to any changes in behavior or working practices ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Swiss Law on Transparency: Much ado about nothing


1
The Swiss Law on Transparency Much ado about
nothing?
  • Sarah Holsen Swiss Graduate School of Public
    Administration

2
Outline
  • Introduction and background
  • Swiss Law on Transparency (LTrans)
  • Research questions and method
  • Results
  • Expectations
  • Request numbers
  • Changes
  • Possible explanations

3
FOI in Switzerland (LTrans)
  • Passed December 2004 and in force July 2006
  • Goals improve relationship between government
    and public replace administrative culture of
    secrecy with transparency
  • Exemptions and limitations to access

4
Questions and method
  • Questions
  • Has implementation of LTrans led to any changes
    in behavior or working practices of federal
    administrative staff? If so, to what extent?
  • Method
  • Interviews with 44 LTrans officers
  • Survey of federal administrators
  • 11 expert interviews

5
Results - Expectations
  • No concerns (50)
  • Fears stemming from uncertainty (50)
  • Request numbers and increased workload
  • Disclosure of certain documents

6
Request numbers
7
Request numbers
8
Request numbers
9
Request numbers
10
Request numbers
11
Request numbers
12
Request numbers
13
Changes
  • Fears put to rest
  • Few to no changes to working practices
  • Few to no changes to relationship between
    government and citizens
  • Transparency has increased?
  • Questions Why so few requests and so little
    change?

14
Possible explanations
  • Few requests due to
  • Low awareness of LTrans
  • Sufficient information provided by government
  • Lack of opposition politics
  • Requests to cantonal authorities
  • High trust in government/low corruption
  • Change occurred before LTrans
  • Resistances to transparency exist

15
Conclusions
  • Impact of LTrans minimal
  • Changes nearly non-existent
  • Whether transparency or accountability have
    increased difficult to gauge
  • Latter hard to measure
  • Next step - survey of population about
    information needs and perceptions about
    government openness
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