Transparency - a future necessity?
When you look at our recent history it has been a long sad story about nepotism, misuse of funds and lack of transparency in decision making processes, which has crippled our country and made a large part of the population skeptical about the politicians, the political parties and the public administration. In my view we can easily implement some simple guidelines - that Transparency Greenland have already made - in public sector and political processes. This will give the population an insight into both how decisions are made - and why.
So let me start with the why! Why is it important with transparency in a small country like Greenland? Because we are a relatively small number of people in Greenland there is also a small group of people making the big decisions on behalf of the society, which in itself does not pose a problem if the morals, integrity and ethical standards are high. Unfortunately we have case in Greenland that show the opposite, where we have had numerous incidents with problematic behavior among the power elite in political office or/and public administration.
The how is equally important. How do we give better insight to the population in Greenland about how decisions are being made and accept the questions that come along with that. And the how is also about giving access to the reasons behind making a decision, so it is possible to have a discussion about the direction of the country. Usually you are able to explain why you make a decision if the facts or direction is in place. So often I have experienced that major decisions have been made without any good reasoning, any facts or any level of insights by central people. In other words: explaining about the "why" will give the public a better understanding of central parts of the policies and decisions being made on their behalf.
So how do you tackle nepotism, transparency and corruption in a small country?
Here are some specific advice on just that - and some advice we can implement tomorrow in Greenland:
1) make a decision of transparency in all of public administration from top management to the lowest level and implement it. This means that the individual can ask questions and be able to answer specific questions in their area of expertise. In other words you accept that top management does not decide which material can be publicly discussed or given insight into. Total transparency will strengthen the need for good decision making processes.
2) make a decision that all of public sector, publicly owned companies and political parties have to have a anti corruption policy and make sure it is enforced.
3) have a clear policy for hiring staff, no matter what position we are talking about. Have HR be the central hiring part to ensure transparency and disqualification standards.
4) remove the political influence into decision making processes in the Self Rule and publicly owned companies to separate political party influence and day-to-day business operation. Today the administration does not have a lot of power to sustain the political influence in the daily operation. The top administrative staff have to be apolitical in order to sustain longterm solutions, which is not the case today.