Whether we are dealing with the federal government, the state government, or the local county/municipal government, transparency remains equally important. We elect representatives to reflect the values and concerns of their constituents, assuming that they are and can be held accountable for their actions. A fully transparent government allows for that to occur — It gives the people the proper tools to closely monitor their representatives' actions, ranging from their decisions on monetary issues, such as spending, to knowing which lobbyists and interest groups they meet with. In short, transparency is good for everyone except the corrupt.
With today's advancements in technology, guaranteeing government transparency can be as easy as enabling a simple Google search. Representatives need to use the Internet, along with other popular means, to make government information available. Budgets, meeting minutes, legislative proposals, tax information, city income, and many more documents should be easily accessible to anyone who is interested. Representatives should post this information on their office's website, not keep it locked up in non-searchable PDF files. In a report that spans hundreds of pages, citizens should be able to search through the file in order to get the exact information they are looking for. If this is not the case, then politicians may be deliberately making it hard to find information.
We need to be able to access any information that our government has, from the local level upward. By increasing government transparency, corruption goes down. In a fully transparent system, officials cannot hide any information from the people. As citizens, we need to be engaged and stop our officials from dodging responsibility. If we can establish a truly transparent government, we would see a lot more representatives and a lot fewer politicians.