State Given Grade of B-
11:59 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Room for Improvement in Illinois Govt Transparency

A watchdog group says Illinois is doing better at making government spending more transparent to the public, but more can be done.

This is the third year the Illinois Public Interest Research Group has studied state's openness to show where money is going.

I-PIRG's Brian Imus said in the Internet age, taxpayers expect increasing access to information. He said other states are doing a better job than Illinois.

"Some of the best states are states like Massachusetts and Texas and West Virginia. So it's all over the map, and it doesn't have anything to do with political ideology. It has to do with a commitment by state leaders to make this information public,” said Imus.
                                            
I-PIRG said states receiving a top score provide information that is highly searchable, and includes detailed data about government contracts, tax subsidies and grants to businesses.

Imus said Illinois deserves praise for being the only state to provide information comparing projected benefits with actual benefits of subsidies. He also applauds state lawmakers who look for ways to get the state's money back when a company fails to deliver.

You can look for yourself at what information Illinois makes available by going to the state's transparency website.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio