OPINION

Openness in the digital age

As part of its efforts to boost transparency, the Socialist government of George Papandreou this week approved draft legislation stipulating that all public sector decisions, budgets and even the wages of some state officials be posted on the Internet. Under the proposed legislation, government departments will be obliged to publish their budgets as well as their balance sheets. At the same time, however, the state obliges private companies to publish their financial data in the printed media rather than on the Internet. This practice is outdated and costly. Moreover, it does little to inform the public at large. In contrast, most of our European Union peers have modernized the corresponding procedure. Private firms in most European countries are entitled to post their economic data on the Internet, something which gives every citizen ready access to information about their financial status. Perhaps it’s time that the Greek government too abolished the existing system which does very little to enhance transparency.