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Why Transparency?

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One way that transparency can directly affect outcomes is when information is released in ways that preempt bad decisions. In the case of the federal bailouts, the possibility of transparency averting the impolitic decisions of bonuses and bogus assertions seems particularly acute. Transparency could also help consumers by providing information prior to and during a decision-making process, like purchasing a home. I thought this quote from Timothy Day, vice president of government affairs with data analytics firm Teradata, in this NextGov post summed it up pretty well:

"If a bank had shown more information [last year] as it relates to their mortgages, people making $100,000 salaries would not be getting $500,000 mortgages," he said. "The government is never really going to have true transparency and true accountability unless there is more data in a centralized database."