The Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, has given the City of Chicago website an A+ grade. The Sunny Award, which honors the most transparent government websites in the nation, was awarded to 214 government entities out of 6,000 government websites.
“I am committed to creating an open, transparent government that is truly accountable to the citizens of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I’m honored to receive the Sunny Award and will continue to empower citizens by providing information that not only keeps them abreast of the actions the City is taking every day, but also allows them to engage with data to help create new ways to move our city forward.”
For the 2012 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 6,000 government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at the content available on government websites, specifically seeking information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes.
“The Sunny Awards recognizes municipalities that are doing an exemplary job at proactively disclosing information to taxpayers,” said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “We would like to congratulate the City of Chicago for being a champion for transparency and serving as a leader to every state and local government around the nation.”
Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has released over 300 datasets, including salary information, crime data going back 10 years, lobbyist disclosures, debarred vendors and abandoned buildings. Since May 16, 2011, the City of Chicago’s open Data Portal has logged more than 960,000 views and over 40 million rows of data have been accessed. The data portal is located at data.cityofchicago.org.
Sunshine Review is a nonprofit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and a transparent government. Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states and more than 6,000 state and local entities. More information on the Sunny Award and Chicago’s A+ grade can be found here.