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'Transparency' often elusive in Indiana government despite its popularity as talking point

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INDIANAPOLIS — The promise of transparency in government is a popular one among politicians because it evokes the vision of a democratic government that answers to the people and supports the concept of public trust.

But it often remains just a talking point.

That was evidenced last week when Gov. Mike Pence unveiled his new $9-million government management system. Pence listed ways it would make state government work better and avoid duplication.

But he wouldn't say which programs it would eliminate, and even answers to the question of how much the system cost were hard to pin down.

Washington and Lee University assistant professor Kevin Finch says many politicians want open government but run into roadblocks once elected.

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