In February, the Association of Government Accountants released a report they commissioned Harris Interactive to create, entitiled Public Attitudes Toward Government Accountability and Transprency 2008.
The report and corresponding powerpoint presentation explain government's failure to effectively report on financial management:
A detailed survey and statistical and demographic explanations back up their conclusions on public perception of accountability and transparency: "Government at all levels is failing to meet the needs of its citizens with regard to financial management reporting. There is a large 'expectations gap.'"
While this survey applies specifically to financial reporting from the government, the conclusions are likely true across government. If traditional reporting mechanisms are failing, that leaves digital technology to help us develop mechanisms of real trust and accountability. See Section 3 of the report; What the Public Wants: "A significant portion of the population is searching online for information on how the government is generating and spending money."
(AGA Page, Survey Paper, Powerpoint Presentation )