Online government spending transparency continues to improve, but many states still struggle to meet 21st century standards, according to Following the Money 2018: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data. This is the eighth report of its kind produced by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and Frontier Group.
The report graded each state’s transparency website from “A” to “F” based on its content and user-friendliness. This year, for the first time, we worked with focus groups to see how well the sites worked for ordinary Americans. With that new standard, most states’ grades dropped.
“The public has a right to know how and when their tax dollars are being spent so that they can hold elected officials and civil servants accountable for ethical, effective stewardship of funds,” said Alex Howard, Deputy Director of the Sunlight Foundation.
The report found that many states’ websites lack features that make them intuitive for users, such as a full search function, standardized data descriptions and interactive tools. Read more...