San Diego receives award for gov. transparency through website - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego receives award for gov. transparency through website

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego received one of 112 "Sunny Awards" for transparency on its civic website, the city announced Wednesday.

The list of winners was released by the Virginia-based Sunshine Review, which is dedicated to openness in government. The Internet sites were judged by the nonprofit organization as exceeding its standards of transparency.

"Access to information empowers every citizen to hold government officials accountable," said Mike Barnhart, president of the organization. "Official accountability is the cornerstone of self government and liberty."

San Diego was one of only five winners in California. None of the others were in San Diego County.

"This award recognizes our effort to engage our citizens through electronic media," said Mayor Jerry Sanders. "Our web team redesigned the city's web site last year to modernize the look and to enhance accessibility and usability for our citizens. We're proud that people have noticed."

The Sunshine Review has analyzed 6,000 government websites in all 50 states since its inception in 2008.

The organization said grades take into account the pro-active disclosure of information regarding budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records, and taxes, as well as the site's ease of use and availability of information.

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