Thursday, July 30, 2009

Georgia Counties Lacking When It Comes To Transparency on their Websites.

Georgia Counties are not very peachy when it comes to transparency according to the website Sunshine Review ( A project of the Sam Adams Alliance, the government transparency website has released transparency grades for all county websites in Georgia. Each county was evaluated against a 10-point transparency checklist and issued a grade to determine how open and honest they are with the public they serve. The checklist, developed by Sunshine Review, requires information regarding budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records and taxes be made easily accessible online.

According to the Sunshine Review findings, no county received a grade higher than B-minus. Douglas, Jackson, Paulding and Whitfield received the top grade, meeting seven points on the checklist. The most revealing finding by the Sunshine Review community is that forty four counties in Georgia do not have a website, bringing the total number of counties receiving an "F" to seventy nine.

"The Sunshine Review community believes every county in the nation has a responsibility to make basic information easily available to the taxpayer," said Kristin McMurray, managing editor of Sunshine Review. "We urge Georgia citizens to use the results of these evaluations to push for reform in their counties."

Sunshine Review is a wiki website that collects and shares information about transparency, government spending, political corruption, taxpayer-funded lobbying and open records laws. It provides a way for citizens to keep tabs on their government, hold it accountable, and reform wasteful, fraudulent, and corrupt behavior uncovered by measures of transparency.

"Citizens deserve to know what their government is doing and how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent," McMurray said. "We hope county officials will welcome our findings and begin taking the necessary steps to achieve greater open and honest government by meeting all ten points on the transparency checklist."

Go to the Sunshine Review Evaluation of Georgia county websites page to see how open and honest your county is compared to all counties in the Peach state.


Kristin McMurray, Managing Editor
Sunshine Review
312-920-0080 ext. 311

Paul Miller, Communications Director
Sam Adams Alliance
312-920-0080 ext. 302
847-845-3501 cell

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