January 1, 2013
By Mindy Ruckman

Illinois Policy Institute’s Local Transparency Project grading rubric Eligible for the Sunshine Award A – 90% and Above B – between 80% and 89.99% Not eligible for the Sunshine Award C – between 70% and 79.99% D – between 60% and 69.99% F – 59.99% and lower Out of a possible 100 points. 1. Contact...

Illinois Policy Institute’s Local Transparency Project grading rubric

Eligible for the Sunshine Award

A – 90% and Above
B – between 80% and 89.99%

Not eligible for the Sunshine Award

C – between 70% and 79.99%
D – between 60% and 69.99%
F – 59.99% and lower

Out of a possible 100 points.

1. Contact information (10 points)

Elected 0fficials (4 points)

  • 1 point for name of elected officials
  • 1.5 points for individual email or web form to contact elected officials
  • 1.5 points for individual phone number for each contact elected officials

Senior elected official (1 point)

  • .25 point for name of elected official
  • .375 point for individual email or web form of elected official
  • .375 point for individual phone number of elected official

Administrators (4 points)

  • 1 point for names of administrators in each department
  • 1.5 points for individual email or web form to contact administrators
  • 1.5 points for individual phone number for each administrators

Senior administrator: (1 point)

  • .25 point for name of senior administrator
  • .375 point for individual email or web form of senior administrator
  • .375 point for individual phone number of senior administrator

2. Public meetings (10 points) 

Meeting calendar (2.5 points)

  • A calendar disclosing one year’s worth of scheduled public meetings (required by state law)

Meeting agendas (2.5 points)

  • Regularly posted online 72 hours prior to board meetings (required by state law)

Meeting board packets (2.5 points)

  • .5 point per each of last 5 years online.
  • Only 70% credit if documents are not searchable

Meeting minutes (2.5 points)

  • .5 point per each of last 5 years online (each meeting minute document must stay on website for 6o days after initial posting by state law)
  • Only 70% credit if documents are not searchable

3. Public information (10 Points)

Freedom of Information Act  (7 points)

  • 1 point for address to submit FOIA (required by state law)
  • 1.5 points for phone number
  • 1.5 points for email or web form
  • 1.5 point for FOIA process response time
  • 1.5 points for fee disclosure (required by state law)

FOIA Officer (3 points)

  • 1 point for name (required by state law)
  • 1 point for phone number
  • 1 point for email or web form

 4. Budgets (10 Points)

  • 2 points for each year of last 5 years budget (detailed budget-no summary)
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable

5. Audits (10 Points)

  • 2 points for each of the last 5 years of comprehensive financial audit
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable

6. Expenditures (10 Points) 

3rd party individual expenditures/check register (5 points)

  • 1 point for each of the last 5 years
  • Only 50% credit if document isn’t on own page (in board packet).
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable

3rd party annual expenditures (5 points)

  • 1 point for each of the last 5 years
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable

7. Compensation (10 Points) 

Individual employee salary  (5 points)

  • 1 point for each of the last 5 years (school districts are required to post salary information for administrators by state law)
  • Only 50% credit if it only includes ranges or salary bands
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable
  • No credit if it is a projection, must be information from past years

Individual employee benefit compensation (5 points)

  • 1 point for each of the last 5 years (school districts are required to post compensation information for administrators by state law)
  • Only 50% credit if it only includes ranges or salary bands
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable
  • No  credit if it is a projection, must be information from past years

8. Contracts (10 Points)

Current open bids & requests for proposals, Over $25,000 (2.5 points)

  • 1.5 points for listing of open bids & request for proposals
  • 1 point for instructions on where & how to submit a bid or proposal

Approved vendor contracts, over $25,000 (2.5 points)

  • .5 points for each of the last 5 years in contracts
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable

Employee contracts (5 points)

  • 1 point per each of the last 5 years for all employee or union contracts. If no contracts, then an employee handbook or similar document detailing wages, benefits, vacation, sick, leave policies, etc. is accepted.
  • Only 70% credit if document isn’t searchable

9. Lobbying (10 Points)

  • Must disclose all lobbying contracts and include the value of contract
  • Must disclose membership and fees paid to organization engaging in lobbying (IML, NACo, IPRA, TOI)*
  • 2 points for each of the last 5 years

10. Taxes (10 Points)

  • Must disclose the tax rate for all major revenue sources (property, sales, utility, etc.) on one central page
  • Must disclose all revenue sources
  • Must disclose all fees (fee schedule)

*Updated to include lobbying organization membership fees as of 6/1/2014