January 25, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Chicago, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Taxes, Transparency, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on
Sunshine Review Launches Premier Online Government Transparency Wiki
Website gives the State of Illinois an “B” transparency grade, counties get “D”
ALEXANDRIA, VA – State and local government transparency champion Sunshine Review has announced a relaunch of its award winning transparency website, sunshinereview.org. The bold, innovative design provides users easy access to a database just under 60,000 articles while simultaneously building a social media platform for citizen researchers, activists, journalists, and anyone interested in government transparency and accountability. Attracting over fourteen million total page views and boasting nearly 1,200 members, Sunshine Review allows thousands of online users to build data and grade their local and state governments on transparency. According to the President of Sunshine Review, Michael Barnhart, “Sunshine Review is a community of citizens who have worked tirelessly to open up their governments. From exposing state checkbooks to ensuring that school board and county board minutes are posted publicly online, our community is advocating for transparency – the simplest function of government.”
The site features a grading scale, ranging from “A+” to “F,” for more than 6,000 state and local government websites. The grades are awarded according to Sunshine Review’s “10-point Transparency Checklist.” Sunshine Review gave the State of Illinois a commendable “B” while giving its counties a lackluster grade of “D.”
Sunshine Review was founded in 2006. The innovative online platform combines drupal and wiki software providing citizens with a platform to actively edit and update the site to reflect the most recent changes in local and state government policies. In addition to open sourced editing, the website offers Sunshine Review: Community, where readers can connect with each other contributors and editors and collaborate on projects. Sunshine Review will host the second annual “Sunny Awards” in March, providing government websites an arena in which to compete for transparency innovation. Citizens can nominate their state governments by visiting sunshinereview.org.
Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a “10-point Transparency Checklist” to evaluate the content of every state and more than 5,000 local government websites. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and an accountable government.
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