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Open the Books!

By Joyce O. Ajayi Did you know that since the pandemic, the U.S. Treasury has disbursed to Arkansas a one-time influx of about $2.8 billion under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)? That’s almost $1,000 per Arkansan.  Of these funds, about $1 billion is designated as Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (LFRF). The LFRF is designed […]

Shine More Light

By Mavuto Kalulu Do you know how Arkansas state and local governments are spending COVID-19 relief funds received from the federal government? In my most recent op-ed I commend the openness of the steering committees Governor Hutchinson created to advise on how to allocate the funds.  The two committees, the CARES Act steering Committee, and […]

How to Curb Corruption

By Caleb Taylor How can local governments discourage corruption among public officials? Create more systems that provide for checks and balances, says ACRE Policy Analyst Joyce Ajayi in “Curb temptation” published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on July 16. Ajayi writes: In his book “Principles of Fraud Examination,” Joseph Wells, the founder and chairman of the […]

Arkansas Policy Recommendations: Political Transparency

By Caleb Taylor How can Arkansas counties improve their political transparency? In their latest research, “Arkansas Policy Recommendations: Political Transparency,” ACRE Policy Analysts Joyce Ajayi and Dr. Mavuto Kalulu discuss how county elected officials can improve the transparency of their quorum court meetings. Ajayi and Kalulu begin by noting that some Arkansas counties still don’t […]

Arkansas Policy Recommendations: Procurement Transparency

By Caleb Taylor How can Arkansas counties and school districts improve their procurement transparency? In their latest research, “Arkansas Policy Recommendations: Procurement Transparency,” ACRE Policy Analysts Joyce Ajayi and Dr. Mavuto Kalulu discuss how counties and school districts can improve the web transparency of their finances. Ajayi and Kalulu begin by noting that “Arkansas has […]

Arkansas Policy Recommendations: Elected Officials’ Salaries Transparency

By Caleb Taylor How many county governments publish the salaries of their elected officials?  In their latest research, “Elected Officials’ Salaries Transparency,” ACRE Policy Analysts Joyce Ajayi and Dr. Mavuto Kalulu discuss this and ways county governments can improve their online transparency. Ajayi and Kalulu begin by noting that only two counties in Arkansas publish […]

ACRE Expert Testifies on Transparency for Economic Development Incentives

By Caleb Taylor Should local public officials be able to meet in secret to discuss economic development projects? House Bill 1280 sponsored by State Rep. Delia Haak R-District 91 and State Sen. Lance Eads R-District 7 would amend Arkansas’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to allow for an executive session to be called by local […]

Brighter Lights in Faulkner County

By Mavuto Kalulu Kudos to the Faulkner County Quorum Court, the legislative body of Faulkner County government. Before the pandemic, on August 21, 2018, it enacted Ordinance 18-16 to enhance the transparency of its public meetings by posting recordings on the county website. This allows citizens to listen or watch what transpired in the quorum […]

Transparency: Everyone Has a Role to Play

By Joyce Ajayi A popular adage says, “Many hands make light work.” This means things are done quickly and efficiently when people work together. Transparency is a way to get more hands to lighten the work of making government accountable. Transparent governance creates platforms and initiatives for sharing information freely and openly. Many sets of […]

Arkansas’s Most Web-Transparent Counties in 2020

By Caleb Taylor What counties are leading the rest of the state when it comes to online transparency in 2020? You can find out through the just-released third annual “Access Arkansas: County Web Transparency” from the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, co-authored by ACRE Policy Analysts Joyce Ajayi and Dr. Mavuto Kalulu. Improvement The […]