March 20, 2013
Sunlight Foundation Evaluates Online Public Access to Legislative Information for All 50 States and the District of Columbia
During Sunshine Week last week the Sunlight Foundation released a "transparency report card" that graded how accessible state legislative information was available online to the public. "Most state legislatures are generally behind the technological curve, and that has negative implications for government oversight," wrote Gabriela Schneider in Editorial Memo: How to Improve State Legislatures’ Transparency. She added:
To their credit, many states have embraced the web for decades and do disclose legislative data, but their technological progress has stalled. At the same time, a cottage industry of expensive pay-services has sprouted to make state legislative data more useful to those who can afford it.
James Turk explains that the transparency report card is a byproduct of the work performed to produce Open States. [LLB post] He identifies the six criteria used to evaluation each state: completeness, timeliness, ease of access, machine readability, use of commonly owned standards and permanence. For more about the methodology, see Open States: Transparency Report Card.
To view your state's grade, check out the Sunlight Foundation's first but hopefully not last Transparency Report Card. [JH]