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On transparency and information for accountability

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 Manolo Palao Posted in iTTi Views

Whether in the market-place, business, politics or the media, ‘transparency’ has been a trending word over many years. My focus here is just on corporate responsibility. 

‘Transparency’ –beyond its immediate dictionary meaning- is a relative term. 

Transparency ranges from crystal clarity to the opacity of coal. In Physics, the degree of transparency is measured by the magnitude ‘transmittance’. Transmittance, by the way, may depend (anisotropy) on the direction of the beam of light relative to the object. 

These high-school notions lead me to the issue of whether the quest of transparency deserves so much attention and publicity or it is a smoke screen –consciously or unconsciously set- to conceal what really matters, the real grail, the information for accountability.   

Every person or legal entity has multiple accountabilities, individual, social, economic, legal, principal-agent, etc., and multiple stakeholders holding rights to their performance and compliance.

Exercizing said rights is conditioned, among other things, to the accessibility to relevant, sufficient, reliable, timely, clear, complete and accurate information.

Any non-crystalline glaze, any filter, any hindrance to that access infringes important and even fundamental rights.

Anisotropy too, because asymmetric accesses translate into insider information.


Related perspective(-s):

1.- Hechos relevantes [2013] 

2.- iTTiGloss: Accountability

3.- iTTiGloss: Corporate Governance of IT


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