EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an editorial submitted by Kurt Prenzler.
Treasurer Kurt Prenzler said Madison County’s most recent online transparency grade is far below the A+ the board chairman claims.
“The chairman keeps touting an A+ transparency grade from four years ago,” Prenzler said. “But the latest grade is a D.”
Prenzler said in 2012 an out-of-state watchdog group that’s now defunct gave the county a glowing score, but since then things changed.
“Last week, the Illinois Policy Institute issued an audit report with a score of 69.45,” he said. “It was the second audit completed on the county this year. In February, the county scored a 59.”
The IPI grades government websites using a 10-point checklist that includes contact information, public meetings, public information, budgets, audits, expenditures, compensation, contracts, lobbying and taxes. IPI provides the grading rubric at illinoispolicy.org/transparency-grading-rubric.
Prenzler said of course the chairman wants to continue claiming the county has an A+ on transparency.
“It sounds good,” he said. “The problem is the public often doesn’t know what should be online and doesn’t question it. The transparency checklist is a tool for people to gauge what’s not there and hold their government accountable.”