The first focus of Sunshine Review is an awareness-building effort to evaluate the transparency of local government entities, based on if the websites proactively disclose government data.
In March of 2010, the organization reported that it had evaluated over 5,000 government websites, including 3,140 counties, 805 cities, and 1,560 school districts. In March of 2010, Sunshine Review launched the Sunny Awards just prior to Sunshine Week to recognize the 39 local government websites that scored an A on their checklist.
Launched and originally sponsored by the Sam Adams Alliance, sponsorship of the Sunshine Review website was transferred in January 2010 to a new 501(c)(3) non-profit, "Sunshine Review", which was named for the website. The non-profit organization Sunshine Review is governed by a board of directors that consists of Leslie Graves, Trent Seibert of Texas Watchdog and Scott Reeder. Michael Barnhart is the organization's executive director.
Impact on municipal websites
St. Charles Parish, Louisiana re-did their website partly "in response to the critique [on Sunshine Review], which examined the sites of every parish in the state, she put the parish's budget online and is preparing to add information about how to obtain public records from the parish." Dupage County promised to add county contracts to its website. Champaign County, Illinois was recognized by a local newspaper for its informative website based on Sunshine Review's evaluation of the county's website.
State Budget Solutions
Sunshine Review launched State Budget Solutions in April 2010. The State Budget Solutions website describes itself as a "...non-partisan, positive, pro-reform, proactive and anchored in fundamental-systemic solutions. The goal is to successfully engage political journalists/bloggers, state officials and opinion leaders in a new way of thinking about state government and budgets, fundamental reforms, transparency and accountability. Sharing studies and articles, data sets, anecdotes, and compelling narrative about what is happening in state and local budgets, The State Budget Solutions Project presents and disseminates information about every aspect of coming fiscal and economic disasters and, more importantly, highlights fundamental reforms to avoid them. The State Budget Solutions Project presents fundamental reforms in state government and the budget process that reject business as usual--posing solutions as simple choices between higher taxes and citizen-valued services such as education and public safety."
Sunshine Review also supports an initiative called Sunshine Standard.
- Sunshine Review
- Sunshine Review on Facebook
- Sunshine Review on Twitter
- Sunshine Standard
- State Budget Solutions
- ↑ Sedona Times, Arizona “Sunny Award” Winners, March 10, 2010
- ↑ Reason Hit & Run, Top Government Websites for Transparency, March 10, 2010
- ↑ The Times Picayune, St. Charles redesigns Web site, January 22, 2008
- ↑ Argus Press Spectator, County Web site earns top marks for transparency, Dec. 8, 2008
- ↑ News-Gazette, Champaign County Web site recognized for openness, Dec. 4, 2008
- ↑ PJ Star, Illinoisans more than one click away, Nov. 30, 2008
- ↑ Beacon News, A not so twisted Web for counties, Dec. 1, 2008
- ↑ Tulsa World, County kudos, Oct. 24, 2009
- ↑ Tulsa World, Owasso gets high mark for openness, January 9, 2010
- ↑ ICMA News Briefing, Sam Adams Alliance Praises Carbondale, Illinois, Website As Model Of Openness, March 16, 2009
- ↑ Independent Mail, Openness is Anderson’s message at convention, July 29, 2009
- ↑ Civic Federation, Cook County’s New Online Check Register Gives Public Access to County Spending Records, Feb. 24, 2010