NEW: RI Receives “D” for Transparency of Government Spending
Thursday, April 26, 2018
“When states are transparent about how they spend tax dollars, we all win: the state saves money, it can operate more efficiently and effectively, and citizens can feel more confident in their government. That’s why Rhode Island should invest in accessible, comprehensive, online spending data,” said Michelle Surka, program director with RIPIRG Education Fund.
Rhode Island officials reported that their transparency portal costs approximately $6,400 to maintain annually.
According to the report, many states’ websites lack features that make them intuitive for users, such as a full search function, standardized data descriptions, and interactive tools.
“Rhode Island qualifies as a "lagging" state. Rhode Island has kept intact the transparency features that made it successful in the past. However, the new focus group criteria highlighted the flaws in the state transparency site’s searchability and user-friendliness. In today’s digital world, state websites should aspire to be as usable as the many other sites the average citizen visits. Rhode Island could most improve its transparency by revamping its checkbook to make it far more functional and searchable,” says the report.
The report graded each state’s transparency website from “A” to “F” based on its content and user-friendliness.
“These sites can often be confusing for citizen users. Our focus groups put transparency websites to the test and found only a handful meet the expectations of a 21st-century user,” said Rachel J. Cross, a Frontier Group analyst, and report co-author.
This year they worked with focus groups to see how well the ordinary Americans could navigate the sites.
With that new standard, most states’ grades dropped from the previous report.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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