Transparency Notices: “This Decision was made by X Level of Government”

government-forms

We often forget at which level of government decisions are made which affect our lives. Imagine getting a notice about changes in SNAP (food stamps) benefits, changes to the hours at the local library, or government service. Accompanying the note would be a simple line: “This decision was made at X level of government.” This simple reminder would have the double effect of reminding us at what level of government this decision was made, and reminding us in general that the decisions made by our government matter – a reminder to be civically engaged. And the notices can be given not only where there are changes to benefits or rates but also as a regular course of business on notices of eligibility, etc.  Therefore, a transparency initiative like this becomes a part of the regular operation of both service and regulatory agencies that provide either supportive or fee-based services to individuals (not only welfare, food stamps but also water bills, garbage collection, etc. where fees are set and regulated by government agencies). This idea could be implemented at the local level as a simple one liner to add transparency to regular government communications and it probably could be done in most cases without costing taxpayers an additional penny – at any level of government.

Submitted by: Keesha Gaskins

Status: Idea stage

Updated: 1-23-15

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