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Agency meeting on ‘transparency’ closed to public


People interested in government agencies’ efforts to improve their openness and transparency would probably want to attend next Thursday’s board of directors meeting of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

That’s the international aid agency set to up during the Bush administration to improve  Washington’s effectiveness in delivering assistance to developing countries. The idea was to focus on countries that are committed to human rights, good government and other fine things

“Transparency regarding the process and criteria that govern selection” of those folks getting grants  “is a hallmark of the MCC model,” the agency’s website says.

One agenda item is “consideration” of an  assistance deal  with El Salvador. Might be interesting to hear how that goes. Another item is “Open Data and Transparency.” That would be fascinating for an agency that says its  “hallmark is transparency.”

Alas, the calender notice says the gathering next week at the State Department is “closed to the public.” We suppose it’s understandable that board meetings are often closed-door affairs. But surely there’s some irony there.

Well, sunlight-seekers can take heart: we hear that the organization will hold a public town hall the day after the private session to discuss what was discussed.

So this might be called filtered sunlight? Or maybe what the artists call chiaroscuro?

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.



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Al Kamen · September 5, 2013

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