CHICAGO – April 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today highlighted Illinois’ efforts to improve transparency. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) this week gave Illinois a “B” and ranked it third in the nation for improved transparency of government spending.
“In a democracy, the people must have a voice in their government, and their government must be held accountable,” said Governor Quinn. “U.S. PIRG’s report shows that we have made great strides in improving transparency, but our work is not done and we will continue to expand on our efforts.”
On Tuesday, PIRG released “FOLLOWING THE MONEY: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data.” The report examined all 50 states and found that 32 provide detailed online databases of government expenditures. Seven states, including Illinois, were seen as national leaders for having easy-to-use, searchable Web sites that contain a wide range of spending information.
Illinois was recognized for its Corporate Accountability site, ILCorpacct.com, which is maintained by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The site tracks grants given to companies for job creation and provides yearly progress on the numbers of jobs actually created. The site will have received approximately 1 million hits since its creation.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that the public’s money is being used in the best possible manner, to further the state's job creation and economic development goals,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “We are pleased that our Corporate Accountability and Grant Tracker sites are helping bring state government into the light.”
Additional efforts by the state to further enhance the transparency and accessibility of state government include:
- Illinois Sunshine Portal (Sunshine.Illinois.gov) – A new one-stop shop where the public can review many public records and documents online. Through the site, citizens can access detailed information on state employee pay and state expenditures via the Illinois Transparency and Accountability site; review public facilities’ inspection reports, including those for schools and nursing homes; and much more.
- Grant Tracker (www.ildceo.net/granttracker) – This new site gives citizens greater access to information about DCEO grant recipients, where the money was spent, and for what purpose. Visitors can search by numerous grant categories, funding streams, regions and by organization name.
- Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care (www.healthcarereportcard.illinois.gov) – This site helps people make better health care choices by becoming better informed consumers. The site offers information on the volume and cost of services in hospitals and treatment centers statewide, quality and safety data, and patient satisfaction surveys.