Golden State lawmakers' efforts to make public information accessible on the Web got a "D" grade in a report card released by the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation this week.
The scores in the "Open Legislative Data Report Card" were based on assessments in six categories, including the completeness and timeliness of information available online and whether the formatting allows computer programs to "scrape" the data and put it in an easy-to-analyze form.
California was one of six states to receive a "D" rating. Eight states won the highest grade of "A," while six flunked.
James Turk, a Sunlight Labs developer, said the foundation put together the report after its team "struggled with the often inadequate information made available" on state legislative websites.
"We hope states will use this report card as a guidepost to improve how they present what their legislature is doing online," he said. "Having this data released the right way is important for holding our state governments accountable."
The report was released during "Sunshine Week," a decade-old national initiative dedicated to celebrating open records and transparency. Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, today announced plans to commemorate the week again here in California.
"Sunshine Week helps increase public awareness and inspires conversations about government transparency," Yee said in a statement. "By highlighting good and bad examples of government transparency, Sunshine Week allows us to realize that freedom of information benefits everyone."
The full Sunlight Foundation report card is available at this link.
PHOTO CREDIT: State Sen. Leland Yee, D - San Francisco speaks to members of the press on Feb. 14. Yee has been a vocal supporter of "Sunshine Week." The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.