BY: MIKE MACIAG | APRIL 18, 2012
Many public officials are uncomfortable with subjecting their compensation to scrutiny as governments and transparency groups work to open the information to the public, a new Governing survey finds.
Nearly 30 percent of state and local government officials say their pay should not be considered part of the public record, while half would react negatively to names and salaries posted online. Overall, the results show public employees generally favor disclosing basic compensation information, but many feel they should not be identified by name.
“There is an underlying tension here. It’s between people’s desire for privacy and the public’s right to know,” said Daniel Schuman, policy counsel for the Sunlight Foundation.
Governing randomly surveyed more than 200 senior state and local officials across the county through its online community, Governing Exchange. Survey participants included only officials and administrators, which are not representative of all government workers.
The findings come as state and local governments push transparency initiatives aimed at making public information more available.