HARRISBURG – Sunshine Review, a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency, gave Pennsylvania an “A-” on its 2013 Transparency Report Card for making information about the state budget, legislative voting records, government contracts and other state-related data easily accessible on the Internet. Pennsylvania is one of just 13 states to score so highly.
Pennsylvania’s state websites were also singled out for recognition in the Sunshine Review’s 2012 Sunny Awards, which were given to “the most transparent government websites in the nation.”
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said the grade and the award affirm the strong progress made since his legislation to rewrite Pennsylvania’s Open Records Law was enacted in January 2008.
“In addition to making thousands upon thousands of government records easily available to requestors, the new Open Records Law created an online database of every state contract valued at $5,000 or more,” Senator Pileggi said. “I’m pleased that our efforts to give the public free and immediate online access to information about state government have been recognized by the Sunshine Review.”
Senator Pileggi, widely regarded as a strong advocate of government transparency initiatives, has created a page on his website called It’s Your Money. There, visitors can find information about the Senate’s budget, his salary and legislative expenses, and links to many websites filled with additional information about state government, including the online budget database known as PennWATCH, the Independent Fiscal Office, and the Office of Open Records.
“Pennsylvania has come a long way in the past five years,” Senator Pileggi said. “But we can do even better, and I remain committed to increasing transparency in Pennsylvania.”