March 14th, 2013, 3:43 pm
Posted by BRIAN JOSEPH

Two new reports released in conjunction with Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote open government, have found that it ain’t exactly sunny in California.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Sunlight Foundation gives the California State Legislature a “D” grade for its efforts to make bill and vote data available online. Meanwhile, the Golden State reform group California Forward is sharply critical of both state and local governments in its report “The State of Transparency in California: 2013.”

California Forward, which has started referring to itself as CA FWD, finds the Legislature’s transparency efforts a joke and lambasts local governments for releasing financial data that is essentially incomprehensible to average citizens. The report also asks why the home of Silicon Valley can’t seem to use advances in technology to provide better government transparency.

“Technology is not a cure for the accountability issues in California, but it is the most expedient vehicle for engaging the public and encouraging honest evaluation of its performance,” California Forward writes. “From top to bottom, California’s public sector is lagging in the adoption of tools that were invented by the private sector right in its backyard.”

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