Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency
The three-year spanning policy research project on online transparency began in 2008 with a policy research project led by Professor Gary Chapman., in which 13 master’s degree students investigated how to increase the transparency and online accessibility of government budgets, particularly the President’s budget and the budget for the State of Texas.
This research task put students in touch with a constituency of people both inside and outside of government who are working on government transparency, an increasingly “hot” topic around the world. The PRP itself was also the extension into the LBJ School’s curriculum of a dialog that had started at the LBJ Library in August 2007, when Library Director Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, former Senator Bill Bradley, and local Austin activist Silona Bonewald hosted a small group of experts to discuss a more transparent federal budget. This sequence and the collaboration between the Presidential Library and the graduate school of public policy represented an ideal partnership between the two institutions of the LBJ complex at UT Austin.
This year-long project culminated in a student-led conference titled “Open Government: A New Era of Transparency.” The event featured a line-up of government and elected officials, non-profit watchdog groups, and members of the media.
Visit the “Open Government: A New Era of Transparency” website for more information, including video of presentations.
LBJ School Student Research Calls for Open-Standard Data, Better Transparency in Texas State Finance
“Texas Financial Transparency: Open and Online,” was the second student-lead conference based on research done by students under the supervision of Professors Gary Chapman and Sherri Greenberg, building on the research done the previous year. The purpose of the conference was to not only lend the students a forum to present their findings, but to also function as a call to action to government officials, the media, and the public sector to initiate a shift in the ways in which Texas government finances are made available and transparent online.
In addition to pulling speakers from the community, government, media and interest groups to lend their voice to the discussion, the students also issues a final report, which outlines several recommendations on how to streamline and reformat state and local finance transparency.
Visit the “Texas Financial Transparency: Open and Online,” website for more information, including a conference report and video of presentations.