Another Arkansas County Embraces Online Financial Transparency

By Caleb Taylor

Faulkner County is the latest Arkansas county to follow ACRE recommendations to increase their transparency and public accessibility.

ACRE Policy Analyst Dr. Mavuto Kalulu discussed his research on the benefits of transparency at a Faulkner County Quorum Court meeting on August 20th.

Faulkner County Justices of the Peace were deciding whether to pass an ordinance to require monthly expenditures by the county to be posted online. The ordinance passed unanimously.

Kalulu discussed the results of Access Arkansas: County-Level Web Transparency by Kalulu, ACRE Program Coordinator Terra Aquia, and Joyce Ajayi, a PhD student in the UCA Leadership Studies Program. Access Arkansas was ACRE’s inaugural index that ranks all Arkansas counties by how much financial, political and administrative information their websites contain. 

Kalulu noted at the meeting that currently only six counties publish monthly expenditures online. Previously in Faulkner County, only the Circuit Clerk’s Office published these. 

Kalulu said:

This ordinance moves Faulkner County towards greater transparency. The benefits of publishing expenditure data include better management of financial resources and enhancement of trust between residents and their county government.”

An updated “Access Arkansas” index of county level transparency is scheduled to be released later this year.

Interested in more of our work on transparency? Check out Kalulu’s policy brief, “Let the Sun Shine In: Improving Access to Arkansas Counties’ Financial Information,” which shows what an average Arkansan would experience when attempting to collect county financial information.

Kalulu also discussed steps to reduce government corruption and improve transparency in a recent op-ed entitled “Stop Corruption” published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on August 5th.