April 17, 2014

County website wins award for transparency

Johnson County’s main website (LINK) received its third consecutive “Sunny Award” in three years for transparency from the Sunshine Review, a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government openness.
In 2013, the county achieved the top A-plus Sunny Award for transparency after earning an A rating in 2012 and an A-minus award in 2011.Out of more than 6,000 government websites in all 50 states reviewed by the Sunshine Review, only 247 of them received a Sunny Award, or an A grade, this year. The websites included both local governments and school districts.
“Transparency has always been a priority of County Government,our residents expect and deserve it,” County Manager Hannes Zacharias said Friday, March 29, in announcing the award. “It is heartening to be recognized again by the Sunshine Review for our ongoing efforts in informing, educating, and serving our citizens online.”
Johnson County was one of only three county websites in the state of Kansas to win a 2013 award. Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties both received A-minus awards. Eleven awards were presented in Kansas, including websites for the cities of Overland Park, Shawnee, Lawrence, and Wichita, all A-plus recipients; and Topeka, Bel Aire, Wichita School District, and Kansas City, Kan., all A-minus winners.
The annual Sunny Awards honor the best and most transparent state and local government websites in America. Grading takes into account the proactive disclosure of information regarding budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records, and taxes, as well as the ease of use and availability of information.
“The Sunny Awards recognize governments that make transparency a priority. The winners of the Sunny Awards are cities, counties, and school districts that proactively share the public information that empowers citizens and keeps government accountable to the people,” Michael Barnhart, president of Sunshine Review, said.
The Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization that collaborates with individuals and organizations across America to promote state and local government transparency.

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