Transparency and accountability are important. However, much of the dialog is theoretical ... rather little is being done to make transparency and accountability a norm for all the economic actors. As time goes by, there is more and more sophisticated talk ... but still nothing that is practical. Transparency and accountability are all but impossible to have without an appropriate structure for data acquisition, analysis, reporting and public access.
Making transparency actionable. TVM has a structure that allows it to acquire data even when major socio-economic actors are unwilling to participate. While the non-participation of major economic actors makes data acquisition more difficult ... it is not impossible ... and the role of TVM becomes t is even more important.
Simply put ... it may be possible for an economic actor to hide how it operates internally, but with TVM it is impossible for any substantial economic actor to hide from the impact of its activities. Inappropriate activities with anti-social outcomes are only sustainable when there is no visibility for these activities and outcomes!
The concept of double entry described later creates a very powerful tool for financial control and accountability. Either there is the money that can be counted or there is the product or service that has been bought. The money value representation of the one equals the other. When money buys less than it should ... this can be identified. In a good system of accounting, the double entry characteristic can be used to ensure that nothing is stolen without more than one person knowing about it!
In the context of the TVM initiative, a dialog about privacy and what must be reported to the public by an economic actor has no relevance. Rather the public simply puts on the record what the impact of the economic actor is on the community ... and the actor may choose to be responsive or not.
What goes on when nobody is looking! All sorts of bad things go on when nobody is looking. TVM has a structure so that someone is always going to be looking ... and putting the observations on the record. Observing what is good is, however, just as important as reporting what is bad!