What is transparency?

When something is transparent, according to m-w.com, it is "free from pretense or deceit ... easily detected or seen through ... readily understood ... [or] characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices."

Applied to government, this means citizens should be able to see how their tax money is used by elected representatives and bureaucrats are doing with the tax money they take from citizens. In the past few years there has been a change in what citizens find acceptable in the way of government transparency. In the age of the Internet and digital technology, citizens are demanding their state, local and national governments provide access to the basic information they must have in order to make decisions as responsible citizens.

Some states and localities nationwide have embraced the transparency movement and have taken advantage of communication technologies unavailable 10 or 20 years ago. Others, though, including many in North Carolina, have been slow to adapt to these new citizen demands.


NCTransparency.com promotes transparency in North Carolina government

NCTransparency.com, a Web site produced by the John Locke Foundation, is an effort to promote transparency in North Carolina. It connects citizens to important information available online. You can search for a specific government entity or browse through listings organized by county, school system, municipality, or individual state agency.

Each entity's page shows you:

  • Links to resources an entity has online
  • A list of resources we think are important that the entity does not make available
  • An overall grade based on how many resources they make available


How can my entity's grade be improved?

City, county, state and school officials can improve the grades of their governmental entities by adding the resources that are currently shown as unavailable online. Likewise, any citizen who notices that we have left out resources that are available online is invited to contact us as well. We will add the new resource to our database and scores will update automatically.

Just send the link and a brief description to us via our contact page.

You can also read a more detailed explanation of how our grading works.