Most organizations, whether private or public, would prefer to avoid transparency. At best, allowing the public to review internal policies, procedures, and self-justification is tedious and time-consuming. At worst (from the organization’s viewpoint), transparency can shine a light on incompetence, faulty reasoning, unjustifiable processes, and, occasionally, outright corruption.
The agencies administering California’s sales and use tax program have shown a particular distaste for transparency. For decades the original agency, the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), refused to disclose the cases and documents underlying its regulatory interpretations, until it finally was forced to do […]