Let the numbers speak for themselves

Amherst Daily News
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They’ll be hiring soon in the Speaker’s office – a full time digital scanner operator and, of course, someone to post MLA expense claims online.

It’s about time too.

The news came yesterday, as the soon-to-be disbanded Internal Economy Board held its very first public meeting in the wake of the so-called MLA expense scandal.

While we know this move will be well received by Nova Scotians, we also believe this could be an important step for proactive disclosure by our government in general.

In public relations of any sort, there is always a gap between what’s useful for the public and what’s useful for the entity disseminating the information.

A crafty writer can colour any story. There are individuals in government, and in business, that are well paid to make the mundane seem fantastic and convoluted seem simple. 

Nine times out of 10, there is also a boss somewhere, whose job is to ensure scrutiny is kept at bay. 

It’s just the nature of things.

Government, which is first and foremost accountable to its taxpayers, should always consider what’s useful to the public when communicating.

Sadly, this doesn’t happen as often as it should.

When it comes to the public purse, the numbers should speak as plain as day. 

So much spin occurs when an audience is underestimated. 

Posting expenses online is sufficient to allow Nova Scotians to make their own decisions. 

The method should not be restricted to the scandal du jour.

How about salaries? 

The taxpayer forks over much more for them on an annual basis than it does for mp3 players and generators.

Don’t we deserve to know where the buck really stops?

Organizations: Internal Economy Board

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