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Good things about openness

Jun 23, 2011, 1:18 PM

Information is increasingly being recognised as one of the major drivers of the evolving global economy, thus critical to economic growth and sustainable development of any nation.

People’s lack of information can lead to devastating consequences to the institutions they belong to, since you are denying them knowing what they have all rights to know.

It is obvious that individuals and organizations that operate with the philosophy of secrecy are exposing themselves and their institutions to danger.

It has often been said that information is power, without which decisions are untimely, ridiculous and misdirected. Its availability makes it possible to link leaders and those they govern.

Availability of information enables the public to participate meaningfully in governance issues, promotes transparency and accountability in the management of institutional and national affairs.

If institutions are to succeed, information has to be made availed to those concerned.

Institutions cannot achieve their set goals, no matter how beautiful they might be, if those at the helm of affairs operate in secrecy.

Our argument here is that if one thinks that you are doing well, by hiding timely relevant information to “those concerned”, you are mistaken, because one day or the other the truth shall prevail.

And, above all, the law is there to guide you forcefully.

Openness can reduce, if not eradicate, suspicion and speculation among citizens.

Another good thing about openness is that it always builds public confidence in those in authority.

Free flow of information is essential in any democratic setting, and that it is not only governments who should practise this, but institutions should also be open to their members.

It has been said that those who hide information are not sure of what they are doing, whether good or bad. And if they do so, then they are not democratic and accountable, since they want “yes sir, yes sir” leadership.

Every patriotic Gambian should say “No!” to such leadership, and say welcome to a more open, transparent and accountable leadership in any governance structure.