Campaign for Vermont: Transform State Government with Transparency

Campaign for Vermont

Transparency is the most essential ingredient in transforming state government into an efficient, responsive and accountable 21st Century organization capable of solving Vermont’s most pressing challenges. That’s the conclusion of the latest paper released today by the independent, non-partisan advocacy organization Campaign for Vermont.

“Transparency is the best way to achieve efficiency, increase productivity and meet our biggest challenges-chronic poverty, skyrocketing costs, negative demographics and limited job opportunities,” said Campaign for Vermont founder Bruce Lisman.

“It is the only way to build a real and lasting culture of accountability in government. Transformation requires transparency.”

Co-founders Mary Alice McKenzie and Tom Pelham, as well as transparency advocate, author and entrepreneur Bill Schubart joined Lisman at the State House announcement.

McKenzie said the transformation Campaign for Vermont proposes would provide every Vermonter with unprecedented, unrestricted and unbiased information necessary to measure and judge the outcomes of publicly funded systems.

“A system where residents can monitor the performance of their government-in real time will be transformative,” McKenzie said. “It will inspire powerful, positive and economically essential reforms.”

Achieving this transformation will not be easy, McKenzie continued. It requires support from elected officials and, more importantly, the support and advocacy of Vermonters who want to require transparency and accountability in government.

Addressing this challenge – making transformational change – is why Campaign for Vermont was established and why it is growing, McKenzie added.

Schubart said, “Transparency-the ability to really understand and measure the results of government initiatives, is not a partisan issue. Progressives, centrists and conservatives are all better served by measurement, transparent reporting and accountability.”

SUMMARY RECOMMENDATIONS

The paper, titled Achieving Accountability: Transforming State Government into a Modern, Transparent 21st Century System, includes a number of specific recommendations and a commitment from Campaign for Vermont to advocate for reforms in the next legislative session.

Specifically, Campaign for Vermont proposes a clearly defined metrics-based approach, and creation of a non-partisan Transparency & Accountability Authority to define and oversee implementation of the most significant and necessary reforms. They also propose transparency and accountability standards be included in all Legislation, without exception; financial disclosure within all branches and levels of state government be required in real time; and Vermont to ensure enforceable ethics policies for all public officials and establish them where they do not currently exist.

To aid in achieving this transformation; Campaign for Vermont, the state’s fastest growing grassroots organization, will enhance its advocacy efforts.

“By providing lawmakers, public managers and residents with the necessary tools to accurately and promptly measure effectiveness and value in programs and services, we can dramatically reduce chronic poverty and its impacts; address the mounting crisis of affordability; neutralize an increasingly unsustainable tax burden; and better prioritize investment spending in areas where more bold and transformational reforms are required – like job creation, health care and education,” Lisman said.

“If you believe, transparency¬†and accountability in government is the most essential element of building a future where every Vermonter is secure and can prosper, please join us at CampaignForVermont.org” Lisman concluded.