[PROPOSAL] Transparency Act


…1.1. This act shall be known and cited as the “Transparency Act”.

…1.2. “The Executive” is defined as the Office of the Delegate and any ministries, departments, and organizations under their jurisdiction.

…1.3. “Term” is defined as a four month Delegate term, from February to June, June to October, and October to February.

…1.4. “Transparency Report” is defined as a government publication mandated by this Act.

…1.5. “Private Affairs” are defined as Eastern Pacific Sovereign Army operations, treaty negotiations, interregional diplomatic discussions, Cabinet discussions, or any other proceedings of the Executive excluded from regular Transparency Reports.

…1.6. All transparency reports must be released in the forum of the relevant government branch, in whatever subforums relevant officials so desire, provided they are accessible to all citizens.
……1.6.1. Additional publication in dispatches and/or the NationStates Gameplay forum is encouraged, but not required.


…2.1. The Executive must deliver at least one Transparency Report in the last week of each term, detailing the activities of the Executive and the accomplishments of the Delegate during the term.
……2.1.1. The Executive may deliver other Transparency Reports throughout the term as it so pleases.

…2.2. The Executive is not mandated to disclose private affairs in regular Transparency Reports, but must list those which have concluded, unless doing so would interfere with ongoing private affairs.

…2.3. Any citizen may formally request a specific Transparency Report from the Executive on private affairs thereof which have concluded. This request must be seconded by another citizen to be considered valid.

…2.4. Upon receiving a formal request for Transparency, the Executive is mandated to comply within a month of the request, unless doing so would interfere with ongoing private affairs or the interests of a friendly foreign region, in which case the Executive must announce this.

…2.5. Notwithstanding formal requests for Transparency, private affairs may not be communicated with any individual absent from the proceedings of these private affairs, unless such is authorized by the Delegate, or a relevant Executive appointee thereof.

…2.6. Documentation of the current structure of the Executive and current cabinet members must be published in the Executive forum under the Office of the Delegate subforum.


…3.1. Closed Sessions of the Conclave and the Magisterium, and the Citadel of the Praesidium may not be communicated with any individual absent from these proceedings unless such is authorized by the Viceroy or Viceroy Designee, Provost or Deputy Provosts, and Grand Vizier or Eastern Pacific Police Service Commissioner, respectively.

…3.2. Any citizen may formally request a Transparency Report on any such proceeding after it has concluded.

…3.3. Upon receiving a formal request for Transparency, relevant authorities are mandated to comply within a month of the request, unless doing so would interfere with ongoing proceedings, in which case the relevant branch must announce this.
……3.3.1. Additionally, the Praesidium may refuse to release a Transparency Report on the basis of regional security, in which case the Praesidium must announce this.

Interest in this was declared by various people on discord, as I recall, so I threw this together, with inspiration from similar acts in TRR, TSP, and TNP. I tried to simplify wording for Serge while maintaining formality, but I don’t know if it sounds weird or not. I tried to make it pretty flexible as well, but idk how well that worked. I do note that 2.6 is a redundancy with Serge’s current proposed Executive Government Act. I included it so we can discuss whether we want it there or here, but I am fine either way so Serge has the final call.

A decent proposal, however

  1. You mention that if a request for Transparency is made, they have a month to comply. Or what? What crimes would be associated with this?

  2. If the Delegate is found to be in violation of this and this does constitute a crime, is this Act proposing we would have to yeet the Delegate from their position? Are we really sure we want this hill to die on when we have been complaining recently that there is a manpower shortage?

  3. I see a potential for this to be abused. Is there a cooldown on Transparency requests or could a malicious person decide to file one every day? or every hour? what about every minute?

  4. I also see potential for a disgruntled ex-Minister/Arbiter/Vizier/Delegate to use this to take down a former boss or get revenge for kicking someone out of a secret channel. What provisions would there be for the opposite where someone maliciously files a TAR (Transparency Act Request).

  5. I’m assuming that any dispute about this would go before the Conclave. Where would a dispute for a TAR go if the Viceroy is involved?

  1. The Conclave would, by Conclave Act, Section III Clause 1 Subsection c, issue a “Duty to Enforce.” If the relevant authority still didn’t comply, Clause 3 of the same Section lists two possible courses of action for Conclave, “(a) Removal from a government position” and/or “(b) Prohibition from serving in a specific government position.”

  2. Technically, yes. But it would involve the Delegate failing to comply, the issue being brought to Conclave, Conclave issuing a Duty to Enforce, the Delegate still failing to comply, and the issue being brought back to Conclave for a ruling. Even so, the ruling doesn’t have to mean removal, but it is heavily implied so yeah. But the thing is - the process has enough checks and balances to make this not result in arbitrary Delegate removals. Furthermore, there is no standard of length or quality for Transparency Reports, so it’s flexible with any degree of manpower.

  3. Hm. I can add that the same Transparency request cannot be made twice over the course of a two week or one month period. Which do you think works better?

  4. Maliciously filing a request that the government be honest about what they did in the past isn’t really a problem IMO. The difference between someone salty about not being able to see Cabinet and a curious, good willed citizen isn’t really felt in the practicalities of this act, which is the Delegate telling everyone what’s up. If it was just sent to the requester in question, it may be abused that way, but abusing transparency isn’t really a thing, not with the stipulations that the information may be withheld if it threatens ongoing private affairs.

  5. Ah. That is…an excellent question. I… don’t know. The Viceroy would have to recuse, of course, but maybe we send it to the Praesidium? I’m not sure that’s the best idea, though. Too bad we don’t have multiple courts. I guess I can remove the Conclave from the Act. I mean, the Rules of Evidence do say practically the same thing anyway.

Will there be a an override by another branch of government if the executive/other branch is withholding information and the requester believes that the information should be disclosed?

Any government action may be appealed to Conclave.

to clarify, that entails forcing a branch to fulfil a disclosure request?

If Conclave determines that the branch’s refusal to do so is not in line with the law, then yes.

Alrighty that satisfies my inquiry. I want to make sure that there is checks and balances in the system.

2.3: This needs to be seconded or thirded. Otherwise it can be abused.

2.5: is leaking not covered anywhere else?

So leaking is made illegal by the treason-espionage clause, but a lot of it is up to court interpretation, meaning there’s an opening for various laws/resolutions to point to things and mandate that leaking them be treason-espionage/explain why they already are.

For the other thing, sure I think that makes sense.

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Nearly a month without any response from Serge so I’m motioning this to a vote anyway.

Seconded and Acknowledged

Vote here