This morning, the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released their Following the Money 2011 report on state website user accessibility and contents.
The PIRG website says: “State governments across the country have been moving toward making their checkbooks transparent by creating online transparency portals – government-operated websites that allow visitors to see who receives state money and for what purposes… This report is the second annual ranking of states’ progress toward new standards of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.”
Highly ranked “leading states” provide searchable databases of government expenditures, detailed information on grants, and copies of state contracts on their websites. Websites in “emerging states” provide less information and are less user-friendly. “Lagging states” are well behind in transparency efforts, and might not even have a website that can be searchable website at all.
Amongst Network states, Indiana and Ohio ranked as “leading states” in the transparency movement, while Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin ranked as “emerging states.”
Download the report at PIRG’s website, and view the state transparency website scorecard to see how your state fares.