Monday, June 6, 2016

Public info, now: As county and city improve, the state stays lousy; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/6/16

Editorial Board, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Public info, now: As county and city improve, the state stays lousy:
"County officials in recent days have rolled out new online tools to make certain types of public information more accessible.
Controller Chelsa Wagner on Thursday debuted, which features graphs, charts and sortable data about spending, vendors, employees, salaries and benefits. She also introduced, providing instant access to contracts with vendors...
Local governments are getting better at providing basic financial and vendor information to the public, and some officials, such as city Controller Michael Lamb, take pride in providing easy access to public information...
Across the state, however, access to public documents is uneven, and obtaining anything beyond routine documents, such as annual budgets, often involves a cumbersome right-to-know process in which the government agency drags its feet and attempts to keep secret anything potentially embarrassing or controversial. Incremental progress on openness should be applauded, but it is important to remember that the larger battle is far from won."

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