The Cobb County government website has received its third “Sunny” award, honoring it as one of the best sites for government transparency in the nation.
Only eight other websites in Georgia earned the recognition by Sunshine Review, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting open government. About 6,000 sites were reviewed, and only 214 across the nation won.
“The Sunny Awards recognizes governments that are doing an exemplary job at proactively disclosing information to taxpayers,” said Michael Barnhart, president of Sunshine Review.
“There are so many organizations and associations that highlight what is wrong with government. We at Sunshine Review are proud to acknowledge those who are doing it right and setting a transparency standard that all governments can, and should, meet.”
The organization’s “transparency checklist” analyzes websites for information about budgets, meetings, elected and administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records and taxes. The “checklist” measures what content is available on government Web sites against what should be provided.
Ross King, executive director of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, recently praised Cobb’s open government policies.
“Cobb County is definitely a leader in providing an open and transparent government through the use of public forums, local cable access television, Web site, community newsletter and other communications outreach,” he said in a statement.
“They have a customer service orientation that is clear through the actions of both the Board of Commissioners and the staff.”
The Cobb website also offers free live streaming of various meetings, including the Board of Commissioners and bid openings. The overall site brings about 250,000 visitors each month, and the live streaming has more than 13,000 views during the same time.
TV23, Cobb County’s government access channel, also broadcasts these meetings to 200,000 households, allowing the public to watch government business conducted without ever leaving their homes.
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