Evaluation of Wyoming state website
- 1 Website evaluation
- 2 U.S. PIRG rating
- 3 State Integrity Investigation
- 4 Transparency Legislation
- 5 Resources
- 6 Salaries
- 7 Pensions
- 8 Public Records
- 9 External links
- 10 References
- See article: Evaluation of state websites
This website was reviewed on January 26, 2012.
- The site has a search function and is reasonably easy to navigate.
- The state has a transparency site.
- A state government directory is posted.
- Elected officials are listed with links to contact information.
- Audits are posted.
- Budgets are posted.
- Ethics information is available.
- The state posts its checkbook register online.
- Lobbyist lists and reports are published.
- Tax information is available.
- No information is available on Taxpayer-funded lobbying.
- There is no information on how to make public records requests under the Wyoming Sunshine Law.
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.
Wyoming received an overall grade of F, or 52%. It ranked 48 out of the 50 states.
|Public Access to Information||F|
|State Budget Processes||A|
|State Civil Service Management||F|
|State Pension Fund Management||F|
|Ethics Enforcement Agencies||F|
|State Insurance Commissions||F|
- See also: Wyoming transparency legislation
|Transparency in Government||State||Information, budgets, spending, reports and more.||2011||http://www.wyoming.gov/transparency.html|
|Transparent Gov||Transparent-gov.com||List of transparency sources||2011||http://www.transparent-gov.com/Lists/State/WebDispForm.aspx?State=WY|
|Follow the Money||National Institute on Money in Politics||Campaign contributions||2010||http://www.followthemoney.org/database/state_overview.phtml?y=2010&s=WY|
- See also: Wyoming state government salary
State and Local Employees
According to 2008 Census data, the state of Wyoming and local governments in the state employed a total of 59,238 people. Of those employees, 42,781 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $163,483,434 per month and 16,457 were part-time employees paid $14,749,885 per month. More than 52% of those employees, or 30,986 employees, were in education or higher education.
The state budget for the biennium ending June 30, 2012, did not include pay raises for state employees. The $2.9 billion does not include federal funds for highway projects and other projects.
State Employee Benefits
Employees of the State of Wyoming receive numerous benefits in addition to their salaries.
Paid Days Off
State of Wyoming employees earn annual leave based on the number of months they have been employed by the state:
|Number of Months Employed||Hours Earned Each Month|
|1 - 48 months||8 hrs per mo (12 days per yr)|
|49 - 108 months||10 hrs per mo (15 days per yr)|
|109 - 168 months||12 hrs per mo (18 days per yr)|
|169 - 228 months||14 hrs per mo (21 days per yr)|
|over 229 months||16 hrs per mo (24 days per yr)|
State employees receive nine paid holidays per year.
Employees earn 8 hours of paid sick leave per month, which equals 12 days per year, with unlimited accumulation.
|Employee + spouse/dependents||$652.95|
Preventative dental is included in the state health plan and employees may elect enhanced coverage.
Employees may also elect to have life insurance. Life insurance and AD&D premiums together vary from $3.50 to a high of $26.60 per month, depending on age, and cost increases with age.
- Flexible Spending Account
- Longevity pay State employees receive longevity pay of $40 per month after completion of each five years of continuous service.
- See also: Wyoming public pensions
State employees participate in the Wyoming Retirement System.
Wyoming has the "85-Year Rule" in place for full retirement qualification -- your age plus your years of service must equal 85 to qualify for full benefits upon early retirement.
Wyoming public employees had not made monthly contributions to their retirement plan since 1991 but a 2010 law, Chapter 85, of (Senate File 72), required public employees, with the exception of public safety and EMT employees, to contribute on average $60 a month toward retirement, effective September 1, 2010. For state employees, the agency continued to pay the 5.57%, but the employee had to pay the additional 1.43%.
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)|
- See also: Wyoming sunshine lawsuits
The Wyoming Sunshine Law is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Wyoming.
The Wyoming Public Meeting Law 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: Wyoming FOIA procedures.
- Wyoming.gov, "Transparency," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "State Directory," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Elected Officials," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Auditor's Office Publications," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Budgets," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Ethics," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Vendor Payments," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Lobbyist Info," accessed January 26, 2012
- Wyoming.gov, "Department of Revenue," accessed January 26, 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
- Wyoming Corruption Risk Report Card, State Integrity Investigation, StateIntegrity.org
- 2008 Wyoming Public Employment U.S. Census Data
- The Los Angeles Times "Rebounding Wyoming economy, led by energy industry, boosts state revenue projections" Oct. 22, 2010 (dead link)
- National Conference of State Legislators "Pensions and Retirement Plan Enactments in 2010 State Legislatures" July 19, 2010
- Wyoming Senate File No. SF0072 2010 Session
- The Associated Press "A look at state pension changes" Sept. 15, 2010
- "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)