ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In a report from nonprofit, pro-transparency organization Sunshine Review, Rhode Island ranked 30th out of 33 states for transparency on government websites.
The report, which was released Tuesday, graded government websites on a 10-point transparency checklist.
The checklist sought information on items including budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes.
“Rhode Island’s scores are disappointing for a state that claims to be dedicated to promoting transparency and accountability in government,” Sunshine Review President Michael Barnhart said in a statement.
Rhode Island scored an overall ‘C,’ but its ten largest school districts – Providence, Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, East Providence, Coventry, Cumberland, North Kingstown and South Kingstown – averaged a ‘D+’.
The Rhode Island state website – ri.gov – earned a ‘B-’ grade on the nonprofit’s report and accounted for half of the state’s overall grade.
Sunshine Review also analyzed the websites of the Ocean State’s five largest cities, which earned a ‘C’ overall. Locally, Providence earned a ‘B,’ Warwick and Cranston each earned ‘Cs,’ East Providence earned a ‘C-’ and Pawtucket earned a ‘D.’
“Transparency should be a priority to every elected official and voter in this country. Citizens in Rhode Island and around the nation deserve to have the information they need to hold their government accountable,” said Barnhart.