The role of access to information in enabling transparency and public participation in governance : a case study of access to policy consultation records in South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The operationalisation of good governance principles such as transparency and public participation depends largely on the degree of access that citizens have to government information. This article is based on the notion that citizens should be informed about what government is or does (transparency) and provided with sufficient opportunities to influence this (public participation). Both of these depend on the provision of reliable information before, during and after policy consultation. The article explores how transparency may be operationalised through access to information and how this is implemented in South Africa through the Promotion of Access to Information Act. It then focuses on policy consultation as a mechanism for government transparency that can only function adequately if the public has access to information concerning both the policy and the consultation