Administrative transparency

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The administrative transparency or transparency of public administration is closely related to transparency in politics . What is meant is that the citizens gain insight and insight into decisions and processes of the administration. Two levels are addressed:

Roughly structured, four levels of transparency in public administration can theoretically be distinguished, which can complement and overlap, but describe an increasing degree of transparency:

  1. Level: Administration provides selected, general information
  2. Level: Administration guarantees insights into administrative processes as far as they concern the respective citizen personally
  3. Level: Administration and all its processes are open to all insights, personal involvement does not have to be proven in the request (see principle of disclosure )
  4. Level: Administration actively supports the respective citizen in their need for administrative transparency and provides them with the necessary background information and understanding skills if necessary


The first stage has been implemented in many places with brochures, showcases and websites, albeit with different utility. The second stage has long been limited to access to files in appeal proceedings. The third stage is made possible in some federal states, including Brandenburg , Berlin , North Rhine-Westphalia , Schleswig-Holstein , Hamburg , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Bremen , Saarland and Thuringia , with a freedom of information law , but these rights are little known and have only existed at the federal level January 1, 2006; Citizens may incur fees and the administration could be overwhelmed with a multitude of questions; Despite various protective regulations, concerns about data protection are often asserted. The fourth stage is only realized selectively and not institutionalized.

The discussion about administrative transparency suffers from the one-sided focus on the level of citizen service. Administrative transparency is better understood as a political factor, namely as a democratic right . In the course of popular sovereignty ( Basic Law , Art. 20), the citizens "commission" their three powers ( separation of powers ), including indirectly the executive , which is composed of government and administration . As a result, the people as "clients" should have control rights that go beyond individual procedural protection.

The Internet in this context to the importance of a partly technically suitable auxiliary, but it can only go beyond the first stage of administrative transparency when it is used intelligently and lined with a competent back-office area. Most municipalities seem to assume that they have already created sufficient transparency with a website.

See also

Administrative reform , freedom of information , in a much more pronounced form z. B. in Sweden the principle of public disclosure , as opposed to the basic official secrecy .


  • Jörg Liemann: The Berlin city information system and the administrative transparency . Dissertation, Berlin 2002.