Excellent Administration is Transparent Administration: Band governments must open their books to improve services

Blog, Aboriginal Futures, Joseph Quesnel


Administration and Transparency
·       One of the strongest statistical connections identified in the third annual Aboriginal Governance Index was the connection between Administration and Transparency. Rated at .53, this correlation reveals that the best governed communities are also the most open.
·       Simply put, this central finding points to the reality that to provide effective services and administration for a band government, that government must open its books and demonstrate a high level of transparent governance to its members. Good examples of this were Rolling River First Nation and O’Chiese First Nation, which have adopted open book policies on their First Nation and did very well on our survey.
·       In research from the landmark 2003 Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, it was discovered the best governed indigenous communities demonstrated the ability to set strategic targets and meet them. It seems that to achieve targets, communities must be kept abreast of what they are and what their indigenous government is doing to achieve them. This involves a high level of transparency. This was especially evident in the area of economic development where band governments that kept major economic projects away from their people tended to do less well than others in our rankings.  Also, in a proper “nation-building” model of self-government, First Nation citizens need to see that their government has built effective institutions, meaning policies that separate politics from governance. 
Source: The Third Annual Aboriginal Governance Index. Available at www.fcpp.org