Friday, July 31, 2009

Dunwoody Website graded on Transparency and I believe the site just needs minor tweeking to improve score.

I received the e-mail listed in the previous post, did the research and noted that DeKalb County received a C- rating on Transparency. Since one of my main goals for the start of the City of Dunwoody was to set the stage for a transparent government whereby the citizens could be assured that we were operating in the open; I wrote the Sunshine Review and asked them to evaluate our website, which they did.

For a City that is still less than one year old, our website was also rated a C-, yet I believe we failed to make some of the marks because of the cities young age whereby we haven't yet had an audit. We were also dinged for a lack of information on lobbying, a lack of published public contracts and a lack of access to public records. I will need to learn more about the lobbying requirements, I know that we will publish our first audit as soon as it happens, I know we published our contracts at the time they happened as I was able to find them on my site and I know that we have published every document in conjunction with every City Council meeting within the calendar system therefore I believe we should have been given credit there as well.

I will admit that finding old documents on the Dunwoody site is rather difficult and it can be improved, in fact it was out of my frustration one night looking for a document that I created a custom Google search tool to search my personal City of Dunwoody records; therefore I know it can be done. Below are the results of the transparency audit which is published in a wiki format which allows corrections and comments; though I figured you should see the initial report prior to any changes being made.

Give Dunwoody a little time, I am expecting straight A's in the near future.

The good

  • The 2009 budget is published.[1]
  • Meeting minutes and agendas are posted for all the city committees.[2]
  • Provides contact information and bios of city council members and the mayor.[3]
  • Provides information on appointed officials and how contact information.[4]
  • Contact information for the public records official is posted.[5] It would be a good idea to also post a sample letter.
  • There is also an online request for problems in the city.[6]
  • Provides building permit application.[7][8]
  • Zoning information is published.[9]
  • Contract information and forms are provided.[10]
  • Several officials disclose on their websites that they belong to taxpayer-funded lobbying organizations.

The bad (with my corrections)

External links


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