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Report: Washington’s legislature gets top grade for online transparency

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
March 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Open government advocates take heart:  The Washington State Legislature gets an `A’  for online transparency, according to a national study released this week.

Sunlight Foundation logoThe Sunlight Foundation delivered its “Transparency Report Card” this week to gauge how well state legislative information is made available to the public on the internet.  The Washington D.C.-based open government advocacy nonprofit collected data for six different criteria to develop the scorecard for all 50 states.

“The Transparency Report Card judges legislative websites in relation to how government information is publicly available,” the foundation  said in a press release. “Factors include: completeness, timeliness, ease of electronic access, machine readability, use of commonly owned standards and permanence.”

Washington, which scored high in the permanence and machine readability categories, was among nine states  nationwide to garner an A.  (`Permanence’ speaks to how well states preserve old and archived information on websites, while `machine readability’ gauges whether a government’s data formats are easily read and accessible on the web.)

The other A states were Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas,  New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

Five states received failing grades, or Fs:  Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Nebraska. 

Washington scored higher than any other Northwest or Pacific state.   Alaska earned a B,  Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho and Montana each got Cs, and California scored a D.

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