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County Website Receives “Sunny Award” For Transparency

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   March 30th, 2012 · No Disqus Comments ·
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· Maui Business

Sunny Award. Courtesy of Sunshine Review.

By Sonia Isotov

The Maui County website has been awarded a “Sunny Award” for having one of the “most transparent government websites in America,” according to the editors of Sunshine Review.

Sunshine Review President Mike Barnhard informed Maui County Council Chairman Danny Mateo about the award in a March 5 letter. In the letter, Barnhard states that the Maui County website scored an “A” on the Sunshine Review’s Transparency Checklist.

“This year, only 214 of the more than 6,000 government websites ranked by Sunshine Review earned a Sunny Award,” wrote Barnhart. “We hope the Maui County website will continue to serve as an example of transparency in the future. Again, congratulations on your award.”

Mayor Alan Arakawa said the award shows that county government is working diligently to be more open to the public.

“Whether it’s the Maui County website, our Facebook or Twitter pages or better communications between our civil servants and members of the public, I’m very proud of our Maui County workers who are helping to make government more accessible to all,” said Mayor Arakawa, in a written statement.

The Sunshine Review’s evaluation of the Maui County government website found the following “good” points:

  • Good budget information including percentage changes from previous years and a breakdown of revenue sources.
  • Audits are available, as are Comprehensive Financial Reports dating back to 2005.
  • Contact information is provided for elected officials.
  • Contact information is provided for administrative officials by department.
  • Building permits and zoning information is available.
  • Contracts and bid information is available.
  • Tax appeal information is available.
  • There is information on how to obtain public records, and information on how to contact the county clerk. Also, many docs are posted online.
  • Tax rates are included under the budget ordinances.
  • Meeting minutes, calendars, and agendas are posted.

Sunshine Review’s evaluation of the Maui County website found the following “bad” point:

  • There is no disclosure of lobbying activities.

Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a “10-point Transparency Checklist” to evaluate the content of every state and more than 5,000 local government websites.

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