As a principle (or overriding concept of thought order, and operation) public officials, civil servants, managers and directors of companies and organizations and board trustees have a duty to act visibly, predictably and understandably to promote participation and accountability.
Simply making information available is not sufficient to achieve transparency. Large amounts of raw information in the public domain may breed opacity rather than transparency.
Information should be managed and published so that it is:
- Relevant and accessible: Information should be presented in plain and readily comprehensible language and formats appropriate for different stakeholders. It should retain the detail and disaggregation necessary for analysis, evaluation and participation. Information should be made available in ways appropriate to different audiences.
- Timely and accurate: Information should be made available in sufficient time to permit analysis, evaluation and engagement by relevant stakeholders. This means that information needs to be provided while planning as well as during and after the implementation of policies and programmes. Information should be managed so that it is up-to-date, accurate, and complete.