DPS website wins a Sunny Award for transparency

The Detroit Public Schools website received a Sunny Award for transparency today, March 10, 2011. The award is presented by the Editors of Sunshine Review and honors the most transparent government websites nationally. These outstanding websites have scored an “A” transparency grade on Sunshine Review’s Transparency Checklist. This year, only 112 of the more than 6,000 government websites ranked by Sunshine Review earned a Sunny Award, according to the Sunshine Review.

“From day one, we have been committed to transparency and this Sunny Award is a testament to that commitment,” said Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. “Parents and taxpayers should have a clear view into the actions of municipal governments.”

The district’s website – detroitk12.org – was honored with an “A” for including a fingerprinting and background checks policy, 2009-2011 budget and salary compensation transparency report, 2003-2011 financial data and reports, all audit reports and more.

See the citation here: http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Detroit_Public_Schools,_Michigan#

The award comes just before Sunshine Week 2011 – March 13-19. To see the news release, go here: http://sunshinereview.org/core/sunny-awards#

According to the national news release:
Sunshine Review announced the 112 winners of its 2nd annual “Sunny Awards” today. The 2011 awards, which more than double last year’s number, recognize the best state and local government websites in America that exceeded transparency standards. The Sunny Awards announcement preludes the launch of “Sunshine Week,” a period nationally recognized by hundreds of media and civic organizations, that celebrates the efforts of activists and the strides taken towards open government.

“Sunny Award winners deserve recognition for making information available to citizens and for setting a transparency standard that all governments can, and should, meet,” said Mike Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “Access to information empowers every citizen to hold government officials accountable. Official accountability is the cornerstone of self government and liberty.”

Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the governmental transparency websites of all fifty states and 6,000 local governments. Last year, 41 websites earned grades of “A” transparency grades. Grading takes into account the proactive disclosure of information regarding budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records, and taxes, as well as the ease of use and availability of information.

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