Stemming Corruption One State at a Time

By Reclaim New York, Special for  USDR

Across the state, waste, corruption, and secrecy at every level of government have dogged New Yorkers. Now, they can finally help hold their governments accountable, and demand comprehensive online  transparency.

Today, Reclaim New York launched a new statewide, citizen-driven, online platform for evaluating government accessibility, and transparency. The new website, part of the group’s New York Transparency Project, will engage citizens to measure up to 29 key transparency practices for 2,300 government  entities.

Visit the new citizen-driven open government platform at  reclaimnewyork.dyntra.org.

“It can be done. Citizens can hold their governments accountable at every level if they have the right tools for the job,” said Reclaim New York Executive Director Brandon Muir. “The new evaluation platform we released today is going to change the game. Now, every New Yorker can get involved and show whether their local government is open and transparent, or operating in the  shadows.”

Reclaim partnered with data management specialists in open government at Dyntra to create the innovative new transparency platform. The evaluation system allows local residents to learn whether they’re getting the transparency they deserve with 29 indicators of open government that include: whether contracts are posted online, access to expenditure records, notice of meetings and minutes, elected official contact information, as well as posting of permits and  forms.

New Yorkers will grade their local governments on the public availability of this critical information, building the first citizen-driven report card for nearly every local government in the state. Users must cite the source for their assessment of an indicator, and it is reviewed by  administrators.

“This is a truly unprecedented moment for New Yorkers who want to reclaim ownership of their government. Working with this new site they can make proactive transparency a reality,” said  Muir.

Reclaim’s New York Transparency Project has been leading the way to a new era of citizen-driven oversight since its launch last year. This effort has made over 450 spending records available in Reclaim’s online transparency database, so citizens can see how their tax dollars are spent. And it has won precedent-setting victories in court, forcing the release of basic expenditure records, and winning reimbursement of legal  fees.

SOURCE Reclaim New  York

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