A definition of "transparency"

Peculiar notion of board transparency - The Boston Globe

I had never heard of the group Transparency International before reading this letter in today's Globe. Considering the super-secret back-room dealing that has lead to the BRA-Harvard agreement on community benefits for Harvard's Science Complex, it is worth considering this definition.

"Transparency" can be defined as a principle that allows those affected by administrative decisions, business transactions or charitable work to know not only the basic facts and figures but also the mechanisms and processes. It is the duty of civil servants, managers and trustees to act visibly, predictably and understandably.

Not only are the basic facts and figures of the Harvard-BRA agreement far from clear, the mechanisms and processes that led to the agreement are even more of a mystery.

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