September 23, 2014

Danville, Granite City, Pekin, Galesburg and others perform poorly in online transparency audit 

SPRINGFIELD (Sept. 22, 2014) – With the constant advancements of the digital age, keeping citizens informed about their local and state governments’ actions has never been easier. However, recent analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute found that Pekin, Danville, O’Fallon and 15 other city governments in Illinois failed an online audit for government transparency.

This audit takes a close look at how much and what type of information is readily available to the public on local-government websites. Unfortunately, the analysis found that many city-level government websites are missing vital community information, such as public meeting schedules, government employee salaries and tax rates. Some are even in violation of state transparency laws. The three cities of Algonquin, Mundelein and Addison received a sunshine award for high scores in government transparency.

“Decades into the Internet age, every citizen in Illinois should have equal online access to public information,” said Brian Costin, the director of government reform at that Illinois Policy Institute. “With this latest audit, the need for comprehensive online government transparency standards in Illinois is clear. Giving taxpayers and government officials the tools necessary to have an open and honest government would help bring trust and transparency back to a state that is known for corruption.”

Transparency scores were based on the Institute’s 10-Point Transparency Checklist. Key findings from the special report include:

  • Pekin scored 37.9 out of a possible 100 points and is violating state law by failing to post event schedules
  • Galesburg scored a 61.1 out of a possible 100 points and has no available information on city employee salaries or lobbying information
  • Danville scored a 38.3 out of a possible 100 points and does not provide any financial audits of city budgets
  • Granite City scored a 46.6 out of a possible 100 points and fails to provide any city expenditure data
  • O’Fallon scored a 53.6 out of a possible 100 points and does not list any information on city taxes or fees

Complete coverage of the latest government transparency audit is available here:

TAGS: audit, good government, Granite City, Pekin, transparency