OPEN GOVERNMENT -- Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit group supporting open government at the state and local levels, has given the State of California a “Sunny Award” for having one of the most effective government websites in the nation for promoting government transparency.  Los Angeles County's website won an even higher distinction—a perfect score in the competition.

In the evaluation, California earned high marks for an easy-to-navigate search function, and having publicly available the budget, financial audit reports, state contracts, state official contact information, state taxes, state ethics commission information, public records requests, and registered lobbyists listings and reports.

Last April Governor Schwarzenegger ordered all departments to make publicly available statements of economic interest forms and travel expense claims for the Governor’s Office, agency secretaries and undersecretaries and department directors. Two months later he required the posting of all audits on the www.reportingtransparency.ca.gov website, as well as all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more.

The state's complete Sunshine Review report
card, with pluses and minuses, is shown here.

Los Angeles County, the only local government in the state even placing in the competition, was given an A-plus score—the highest possible ranking.

All California county rankings.

Sunshine Review, a nonprofit dedicated to state and local government transparency, analyzes websites annually during Sunshine Week (March 12-17) for information on budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records, and taxes.Since its inception, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states, more than 3,140 counties, 805 cities, and 1,560 school districts.