Across nation, public agencies in a time warp

BY PAUL MONIES Published: March 15, 2009
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Many state and local government agencies seem to be stuck in a time warp when it comes to accessing public information on the Internet, according to national and statewide surveys of government transparency.

The Sunshine Week 2009 survey found that Oklahoma posted online information in just 10 of the 20 categories. Among the categories where surveyors came up empty were teacher certifications, school bus inspections, consumer complaints and personal financial disclosures of elected officials.

Texas was the only state in the survey that provided information in all 20 categories. New Jersey was next with 18. Mississippi had the least available online, with just four categories available.

"This study shows that, while a lot of government information is available online, many states lag in providing important information that people care about,” said David Cuillier, Freedom of Information Committee chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists.

Oklahoma did have online information available on campaign finance filings, school testing results, audit reports and day care inspection reports, transportation contracts, environmental violations, business registrations and discipline actions against doctors and attorneys.

The state maintains a Web site called Open Books, which has state payroll and expenditure information from state agencies. The site is at www.ok.gov/okaa.

Government survey
Oklahoma surveyors also looked at city, county and school district Web sites across the state. National Survey Spreadsheet of Oklahoma Survey


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Read the survey and the results from the survey. Newsok.com

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