by Lee Hogan
Posted 4/8/2014 09:56 am
Updated 7 months ago
Arkansas improved from C- to a B- grade for its government spending transparency, according to an annual report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
It was the second year in a row the state has improved on its grade. Last year's C- grade was up from an F in the 2012 report.
Arkansas scored an 82 in the 2014 report, an improvement from 69 last year. The latest score puts Arkansas in the advancing states category, which is in the B range.
"Twenty states are advancing in online spending transparency, with spending information that is easy to access but more limited than Leading States," the report states. "Most Advancing States have checkbooks that are searchable by recipient, keyword and agency."
Arkansas was deducted points for not providing information about what recipients of economic development subsidies are expected to deliver and not disclosing what results they produce.
"State governments across the country have become more transparent about where public money goes, providing citizens with the information they need to hold elected officials and recipients of public subsidies accountable," Phineas Baxandall, senior analyst with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, said in a news release. "We're hoping that Arkansas will be a leader next year."
Arkansas launched its transparency website, Transparency.Arkansas.gov, in 2012.
Nationally, eight states were classified as leading states.
Indiana received the highest grade in the report, a 94 percent. Oregon (93.5), Florida (92.5), Texas (91), Massachusetts (90.5), Iowa (90), Vermont (90) and Wisconsin (90) also scored 90 percent or higher.