Kane earns A+ for web site clarity
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News June 27, 2012 2:06PM
Only six of 26 counties surveyed by the Illinois Policy Institute received grades above an F for ease at finding information on government websites:
Rock Island: C-
Updated: July 29, 2012 5:03PM
Finding information about local government is easier in Kane County than many other places in Northern Illinois, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
Kane County joined the towns of Orland Park and Lombard as one of just three governments to receive a 100 percent rating on an Illinois Policy Institute transparency audit, for information that is easily found from the county’s website home page.
Kane is the first county government to attain the high mark, according to Brian Costin, director of government reform at the Illinois Policy Institute.
“I can’t underscore enough, the hard work of our employees,” Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said of the work done to make it easier to find information about the county.
The audit posed a challenge for many local counties. Kendall, Will and LaSalle counties were among 20 Northern Illinois counties to receive F’s on the Illinois Policy Institute’s government transparency test.
Costin noted that there has been a lot of news lately about political corruption in Northern Illinois. A low grade on the audit does not equal corruption, however. The information the institute was seeking simply makes it easier to fight corruption, Costin said.
The audit evaluated the availability of materials, including calendars, agendas, minutes and contact information from the home page of the counties’ websites. They were also evaluated on information regarding audits, budgets, contracts, collective bargaining agreements, lobbying, salaries, taxes and expenditures.
“It’s pretty comprehensive and a strong standard to live up to,” Costin said.
The information needed to be findable from the home page in order for the county to receive credit for it on the audit, he said.
It is not enough for the government body to hide it deep inside the structure of the website.
Kane County began the process of rebuilding its website — www.countyofkane.org — in 2009.