Transparency

Transparency Index:

Access Arkansas: County-Level Web Transparency by Dr. Mavuto Kalulu, Terra Aquia, and Joyce Ajayi

This inaugural index ranks all Arkansas counties by how much financial, political and administrative information their websites contain.

Arkansas counties earned an F grade in the  2013 Transparency Report Card produced by the Sunshine Review. The authors hope the index will motivate Arkansas counties to improve access to this important information for their constituents.

ACRE Research Papers:

Improve Transparency in Arkansas: Every Arkansas County Needs Fiscal Data Available On-Line by Dr. David Mitchell and J.T. Schrock

After surveying each of Arkansas’s county’s web presence, there seems to be no consistent structure or consistent content to the websites. Many counties in Arkansas have no significant web presence at all. One-third of counties in Arkansas had no website for the county government in any form. Only a handful of the remaining counties had any fiscal and budgetary information available on their website. This research estimates that no more than 11 percent of the voting public are likely to see the Annual Financial Report under Arkansas’ current requirement. ACRE’s solution for this would be to increase county-government web presence for every county in Arkansas, especially including government financial data, available to the public anytime, on demand. This information should be of a quality and structure so that it could be easily understood by anyone with a reasonable background in reading financial or business data. Finally, the information should be complete and be inclusive of all areas of government responsible to the County Judge.

Radio:

  • On September 26, 2018, ACRE Policy Analyst Mavuto Kalulu and Program Coordinator Terra Aquia were on Conduit News Radio discussing their recently released Transparency Index.

Op-ed’s/Commentary:

  • Open the books: Can’t catch it if you can’t see it – An op-ed by ACRE Policy Analyst Mavuto Kalulu was published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on January 28th. In the op-ed, Kalulu discusses the benefits of transparency to county governments – particularly how beneficial the improved management of tax dollars can be. He points out that a great way to get this benefit is to publish county budgets online.
  • Open the books! – An op-ed by ACRE Policy Analyst Mavuto Kalulu was published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on November 19th. In the op-ed, Kalulu explains the results of a recently- released Transparency Index by ACRE and the reasons why county officials should care about improving their fiscal transparency.
  • For Transparency – op-ed published September 29, 2018 by ACRE Policy Analyst Mavuto Kalulu and Program Coordinator Terra Aquia in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
  • Open the Books – op-ed published July 8, 2018 by ACRE Policy Analyst Mavuto Kalulu and Program Coordinator Terra Aquia in the Log-Cabin Democrat.
  • Out in the Open: Transparency Keeps Us Honest op-ed published November 16, 2017 by ACRE Policy Analyst Dr. Mavuto Kalulu and ACRE Research Assistant Terra Aquia in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Blog Posts:

Shine a Light on Local Governments by Caleb Taylor – posted on the ACRE Review on November 17, 2017.

Arkansas County Government cannot be ‘Transparent’ when One-Third of them have no Web Presence by Dr. David Mitchell – posted on the ACRE Review on November 17, 2017.

State Mandates for County Fiscal Transparency are Outdated – posted on the ACRE Review on November 17, 2017.

Videos:

Transparency in Arkansas’ Government