This week I am going to New Orleans for the International Association of Legal Methodology / Association Internationale de Méthodologie Juridique XIIth Congress / XIIème Congrès – 1-2 November 2012 / 1er et 2 Novembre 2012 which is focusing on the topic Transparency, A Governance Principle. I am going to be presenting a paper with the title Open Government, Transparency and Financial Regulation. Here is the abstract:
Governments and transnational standard-setters emphasize the importance of open government and transparency, and use consultation exercises to take account of the views of people and firms they characterize as stakeholders. But, although the stakeholder concept is intended to be inclusive, it necessarily excludes some members of the world’s population. Accountability to stakeholders is necessarily a limited form of accountability. Two characteristics of financial regulation interfere with the attainment of open government and transparency in this field. First, financial regulation is complex. Second, those who claim to, and do, understand the complexities of financial regulation are experts, rather than non-expert citizens.
The construction of the concept of the stakeholder in consultations is critical. Requests for comment and consultation documents frequently identify specific categories of stakeholder who may be affected by or interested in the questions raised by the consultation. Response forms and/or consultation documents may invite or require respondents to categorize themselves. But consultation documents and questionnaires do not explicitly address the issue of how they define, or why they do not define, the relevant stakeholders for a particular set of issues. This lack of explanation of definition constitutes a core lack of transparency in the consultation process.