The lack of transparency in Ireland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is alarming. Unelected policymakers have consistently chosen to withhold key information from the public, and to obfuscate their lines of responsibility. This has come at a significant cost to the nation. Firstly, the policymakers' poor decisions have damaged the lives of almost everyone on the island. Secondly, and as a result, there has been a loss of trust and social cohesion, as can be seen in the lower levels of compliance with their policies and restrictions.
An open and transparent management organisation would commit to providing extensive information on its structure, its goals and its decision-making process. It would provide a full list of members of all teams, including their CVs and a description of their key skills and experiences. The organisation would explain how its members had been selected, and how it will make its decisions. It would hold regular, scheduled meetings and publicly broadcast them, provide timely and comprehensive meeting minutes, and supply all data and analysis backing their decisions.
These commitments are not born of noble sentiment. Openness and transparency are defining traits of all modern institutions. Our society needs transparency in its public functions so that the people can understand how decisions are being made, so the media can fulfil their obligation to hold those decision-makers to account, and so that society can trust that any mistakes will be recognised and corrected. Without this transparency there can be no accountability. Without accountability, the quality of decision-making will deteriorate, the people will suffer, they will lose their trust in the system, and our social cohesion will be lost.