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New Year’s Resolution: Taxpayers’ Union Calls For More Transparency In The New Year

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on politicians and public servants to commit to increased transparency and accountability as we head into the new year by reforming the Official Information Act and improving proactive release policies.

Taxpayers’ Union Policy Adviser, James Ross, said: “The Government must start the new year delivering on its commitment of fiscal responsibility and reducing government waste. A core part of that is ensuring that taxpayers are aware of how their money is being spent to ensure value for money and demand accountability for poor spending choices.

“The first step must be beginning work to reform our long out of date official information regime. Expenditure by the Parliamentary Service and individual MPs must be brought within the scope of the OIA and the grounds for refusal across all public agencies must be narrowed.

“More widely, departments should be told by Ministers to proactively and regularly release details of all non-payroll financial transactions to allow close scrutiny of expenditure. Most of this information is already collected and the practice is common in many US states.

“For too long, taxpayers have been forced to rely on the leaks from the inside or fortunate OIA requests to become aware of egregious abuses of taxpayer money. If this government is committed to cutting waste, they should allow us to help.”

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