Sunshine on Government 2012
Government Website Review

About the Evaluation Tool

After review of the 2011 document and results, especially items no governmental site had last year, we revised our form and wrote instructions for the 2012 reviewers. Our team reviewed four sites, two larger cities and two counties. Each site was reviewed by two people. We decided early that review of smaller cities using our evaluation instrument may not be fair to a city with a small staff and budget.

Choices for items to include were based on Alabama Sunshine Law and items suggested in documents from the League and other organizations promoting open government. A simple scale was used for each item in our evaluation tool:
  • present
  • partially present
  • present but not in date or not present.

We did not try to evaluate the quality of the information or the presentation style. Presentation style, though, affected differences in results that our pair of reviewers gave to the same sites. Some information was hard to find. Some information was hinted but not explicitly cited. Some information was present in a location that may not seem straight-forward to a citizen but made perfect sense to the staff constructing the site or the government organization that dealt with the issue.

We would like to hear your thoughts.

Before giving you the results, we would like to hear your response. (Note: If you are logged into your Facebook account, you will be given the option to also post your comments on your personal Facebook page.)

When you think of your local city and your local county, what would you like to see them list/describe on the web? Are there items that you think would be good for the government to allow you to do over the Internet as a transaction?

Now, put on your League hat. What do you think the government should have on the website to provide open communication with citizens?