Addison, Algonquin and Mundelein earn high marks on government transparency audit, while 18 cities fail

September 22, 2014
By Brian Costin

The towns of Addison, Algonquin and Mundelein earned high marks for online government transparency in a recent survey of Illinois municipalities.

The current project evaluated 25 towns with populations ranging from Oak Forest’s nearly 28,000 to Calumet City’s 37,000 residents, the 51st– through 75th-largest municipalities in the state.

The towns were graded using the Illinois Policy Institute’s 10-Point Transparency Checklist to analyze online transparency standards for local governments. Only Addison, Algonquin and Mundelein earned more than 80 points out of a possible 100 to earn the Illinois Policy Institute’s Sunshine Award for online transparency.

“While it is encouraging that three Illinois municipalities earned our Sunshine Award, it is quite disturbing that so many others failed to post basic taxpayer information online,” said Brian Costin, the director of government reform at the Illinois Policy Institute. “Eighteen local governments failed the audits, including extremely poor transparency scores in Burbank, Lansing and Calumet City.”

A previous audit of the 26th– through 50th-largest municipalities in the state resulted in 13 agencies earning the Institute’s Sunshine Award. Each of those communities are in the top 6 percent in the state for population.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • With the additions of Addison, Algonquin and Mundelein, 66 local government agencies have now earned the Institute’s Sunshine Award.
  • The city of Burbank recorded the lowest score out of any of the top 75 municipalities in the state.
  • The average score of the 25 agencies was a failing 50.2 percent, though this was still a modest improvement from the 44.2 percent average score registered earlier this year.

“Twenty-five years into the Internet age, every citizen in Illinois should have equal online access to public information,” Costin said. “This survey shows the state of Illinois needs to require comprehensive online government transparency standards of all local governments. This solution would give taxpayers and government officials the tools necessary for an open and honest government, and help fight our state’s public corruption problem.”

The latest audited municipalities and their scores out of 100 possible points include:


Click here for a breakdown of each score. 

TAGS: good government, LTP