Towards unlimited transparency? Morals and facts concerning leaking to the press by public officials in the Netherlands
Imprint : 2007
Collation : p. 215-225
Series : Public Administration and Development, 27, 3
Notes : Incl. tables and bibl. references
People often believe that leakage or whistleblowers are the fact of frustrated lower officials out of self-interest or to harm others, and that action should be taken to prevent it. Despite its impact, hardly any empirical research has been conducted to test these assumptions. This article seeks to redress the negative bias, and to answer the question: how should we evaluate the Dutch experiences with leaking and what can we learn from these experiences? It argues that leaking is effective; much leaking is inspired by noble motives; leaking is caused by the fact that too much is held confidential. Therefore frequent leaking indicates too much secrecy rather than a lack of loyalty in public officials. The article begins with a section that introduces leaking in relation to the concept of transparency; two examples from the Netherlands are given to illustrate the diversity in leaking. This is followed by a discussion of the outcomes of a survey amongst Dutch journalists. The subsequent section reviews a parliamentary research report published in 2005 on the matter.
- Access to information, Press, Codes of conduct, Diagnostic tools / surveys, Educational management, Central administration, Transparency