As democratically controlled organizations cooperatives are ultimately responsible to their members.  In order to give members owners the information to make decisions in their co-op co-ops must be transparent and forthcoming with organizational information. This is, after all, part of the history of the cooperative business model.  To give give customers control, rather than ceding control of important commodities and services to far removed corporations and urban executives.

Unfortunately some co-ops across the country have not always held up the cooperative principles.  Co-ops like Pedernales Electric, one of the largest electric co-ops in the country, overhauled their board after significant misuse of of co-op funds and board corruption was revealed. After the reforms they are now one of the gold standards for transparency and membership engagement in the country.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) lists some best practices in common friction points between boards and members.

http://remagazine.coop/transparent-accountable-governance/

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