Will County named one of Illinois Policy Institute’s Top 5 Governments in transparency project
Once again, Auditor Duffy Blackburn has led Will County to the head of the class when it comes to transparency.
The Illinois Policy Institute’s Local Transparency Project puts Will County in the top five governments for transparency in Illinois, based on its 10-point checklist.
The Illinois Policy Institute, as a part of their Local Transparency Project, contacted Will County elected officials in June of this year after conducting an audit of more than 180 local government bodies in Illinois. After reviewing the criteria used to score the local governments, Blackburn determined a schedule of improvements that further enhanced the current transparency for Will County.
“The Auditor’s Office posted the county’s checkbook online for the first time in 2010,” said Blackburn. “And with the cooperation and support of the County Board and all of the other elected officials and department heads, we have continued to expand our efforts towards open and transparent government.”
In 2010 Blackburn, a certified public accountant and 2011 Illinois County Auditor of the Year, expanded government information on the county’s website which collectively earned an A+ for transparency and two consecutive Sunny Awards in 2011 and 2012 from the National Sunshine Review.
The Policy Institute’s Local Transparency Project created its checklist in consultation with Sunshine Review. As noted in the Policy Institute’s website “For democracy to work citizens need access to the information about what government does. Proactive transparency is
the best way to educate society about the actions of government.”
The website, www.willcountyauditor.com/transparencyportal, now includes information pertaining to financial audits of 2006-2007, additional Will County employee salary information, searchable county budgets for the last five years, and response time for Freedom of Information
Blackburn also updated his office’s website to include checks from 2002 to the present in the online checkbook, the purposes of lobbying efforts and paid lobbying organizations, copies of the county’s labor contracts, and links to sales tax information.
“The standard has once again been raised for open government initiatives in Will County,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “I’m grateful that Duffy and all of our other elected officials are committed to transparency.”