Evaluation of North Dakota state website
- 1 Website evaluation
- 2 U.S. PIRG rating
- 3 State Integrity Investigation
- 4 Transparency Legislation
- 5 Resources
- 6 Salaries
- 7 State Employee Benefits
- 8 Pensions
- 9 Public Records
- 10 External links
- 11 References
This website was reviewed on January 22, 2012.
- A state employee directory is posted.
- Elected officials are listed with contact information.
- Budgets are posted.
- Audits are posted.
- Tax information is available.
- Lobbyist information and lists are posted.
- State contracts are posted.
- Bid opportunities are posted.
- No information is available on Taxpayer-funded lobbying.
- No information is available on government ethics.
- There is general information but no contacts or instructions for making records requests.
U.S. PIRG rating
The scorecard that U.S. PIRG uses has 13 items and focuses on a separate state website that is searchable at the checkbook level. Sunshine Review, on the other hand, focuses on the availability of separate spending-related items; they do not need to be in a central database.
|Checkbook-level website||30||Detailed expenditure information, including individual payments made to vendors.|
|Search by vendor||8||Ability to search checkbook-level expenditures by contractor or vendor name.|
|Search by keyword of activity||8||Ability to search checkbook-level expenditures by type of service or item purchased, category, or government fund.|
|Search by agency or departments||8||Ability to search checkbook-level expenditures by branch of government.|
|Contract or summary information||10||A copy of the contract or detailed summary information is included for the expenditures.|
|Historical expenditures||5||Checkbook-level expenditure data from previous fiscal years.|
|Grants and economic development incentives information||10||Awardee-specific grants and/or economic development incentives are included in the checkbook tool or elsewhere with specific award amounts.|
|Downloadable||3||Information can be downloaded for data analysis.|
|Tax expenditure reports||10||The state's tax expenditure report is linked on the website.|
|Off-budget agencies||2||Expenditures from quasi-public agencies are included on the website.|
|City and county budgets||2||Financial information for some local governments is accessible.|
|ARRA Funding||2||A link is provided to the state's website that tracks funding related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.|
|Feedback||2||Website users are capable and encouraged to give feedback about the site.|
There are several similarities between the checklists. For both checklists, the searchability of information factors in to how usability is rated. Both checklists have an item relating to contracts, tax information, and the budget. The U.S. PIRG requires information for quasi public entities; Sunshine Review requires information on lobbying, which includes quasi public entities' lobbying activity.
Unlike the Sunshine Review checklist with each check worth one point, different items on the U.S. PIRG checklist merit more or fewer points, depending on the item.
State Integrity Investigation
The 2012 State Integrity Investigation graded state ethics laws according to an "Integrity Index." The index was created by researching 330 "Integrity Indicators" across 14 categories of state government. The report assigned grades based on what laws are on the books, and whether or not they were effectively enforced. The report was a project of The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International.
North Dakota received an overall grade of F, or 58%. It ranked 43 out of the 50 states.
|Public Access to Information||C|
|State Budget Processes||B-|
|State Civil Service Management||F|
|State Pension Fund Management||F|
|Ethics Enforcement Agencies||F|
|State Insurance Commissions||F|
- See also: North Dakota transparency legislation
|Recovery North Dakota||State||Stimulus tracking||2011||http://www.nd.gov/recovery/|
|OMB||State||Searchable database of expenditures||2011||http://www.nd.gov/fiscal/spending/|
|Secretary of State||State||Campaign finance and lobbyist disclosure||2011||http://www.nd.gov/sos/|
|ND Legislative Council||State||Budget and Fiscal Reports||2011||http://www.legis.nd.gov/fiscal/|
|Sunshine on Schools||North Dakota Policy Council||School transparency||2009||http://www.sunshineonschools.org/Default.aspx|
|Follow the Money||National Institute on Money in Politics||Campaign contributions||2010||http://www.followthemoney.org/database/state_overview.phtml?y=2010&s=ND|
- See also: North Dakota state government salary
State and Local Employees
According to 2008 Census data, the state of North Dakota and local governments in the state employed a total of 60,528 people. Of those employees, 34,376 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $125,555,635 per month and 26,152 were part-time employees paid $15,835,009 per month. More than 48% of those employees, or 29,397 employees, were in education or higher education.
State Employee Benefits
Employees of the state of North Dakota who work a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least 20 weeks each year enjoy many benefits in addition to their salary.
Paid Days Off
State employees receive the following 10 paid holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents' Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans' Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Annual leave accrues on a monthly basis according to the following schedule, which is pro-rated for part-time employees:
|0 - 3||8||12|
|4 - 7||10||15|
|8 - 12||12||18|
|13 - 18||14||21|
No more than 240 hours of accrued leave may be carried forward beyond April 30 of each year.
Sick leave accrues at a rate of 8 hours per month, 12 days per year with no limit. Employees may use sick leave for illness or other medical needs; i.e. doctor appointments and they also may use up to 40 sick leave hours per year to care for their sick child, spouse, or parent. Employees with 10 continuous years of service are eligible to be paid for 10% of their sick leave hours upon termination of state employment.
Long-term care insurance is another option available to employees and the premium varies depending on the coverage sought.
- The Employee Assistance Program provides special assistance in guidance and counseling to employees and their families in dealing with personal problems and substance abuse.
- See also: North Dakota public pensions
The North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office (RIO) was established in 1989 to coordinate the activities of the State Investment Board (SIB) and the Teachers' Fund for Retirement (TFFR) as stated in Section 54-52.5-01 of the North Dakota Century Code .
The state's pension liabilities can be calculated in a variety of ways, which yield different numbers. Below are the numbers as calculated by to the Pew Center on the States, the American Enterprise Institute and Professors Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua Rauh of Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
|PEW (2008)||AEI (2008)||Kellogg (2009)|
Other information from the Pew Center on the States Feb. 2010 publication "The Trillion Dollar Gap":
|Latest liability||Latest unfunded liability||Annual required contribution||Latest actual contribution|
- See also: North Dakota sunshine lawsuits
The Open Records Statute is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in North Dakota.
The North Dakota Open Meetings Statute legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted.
To learn more about how to make a public records request in this state, please see: North Dakota FOIA procedures.
- ND.gov, "Email Search," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Branches and Officials," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Budget," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "CAFR," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Tax Commissioner," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Lobbying and Legislative," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Contracts," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Current Bids," accessed January 22, 2012
- ND.gov, "Citizen's Guide to Open Records," accessed January 22, 2012
- US PIRG, Following the Money: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, March 14, 2012
- "50 states and no winners," State Integrity Investigation, StateIntegrity.org
- North Dakota Corruption Risk Report Card, State Integrity Investigation, StateIntegrity.org
- 2008 North Dakota Public Employment U.S. Census Data
- Dental Insurance Rates
- Vision Insurance Rates
- Long Term Care Calculator
- Employee Assistant Program
- North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office
- "State Pensions and Retiree Healthcare Benefits: The Trillion Dollar Gap,” Pew Center on the States, accessed January 4, 2011
- Biggs, Andrew, “The Market Value of Public-Sector Pension Deficits,” AEI Outlook Series, no. 1 (2010)
- Novy-Marx, Robert and Joshua Rauh, 2010, "Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are They Worth," Journal of Finance (forthcoming)
- Pew Center on the States "The Trillion Dollar Gap" Feb. 2010