Think tank: Institute for Government
Author(s): Tim Durrant; Jack Pannell; Jeremy Mills-Sheehy; Samuel Olajugba
October 1, 2021
This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government looks at how government departments are failing to live up to transparency commitments.
This report shows how government departments are failing to live up to transparency commitments made by successive prime ministers – with the Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice and Home Office the worst performers. With revelations around David Cameron’s lobbying and Matt Hancock’s relationship with a non-executive director in his department showing the importance of transparency in government, this report analyses government information – published between July 2015 and March 2021 – on who ministers, civil servants and special advisers meet and the gifts and hospitality they receive. Measuring ‘reliability’, ‘quality’, and ‘accessibility’, the tests set by Theresa May when she was prime minister and which still guide the government’s approach to transparency releases, it finds that government departments vary massively in the speed at which they publish data – and the level of detail they share. Things have got worse during the pandemic, but performance was already patchy.