Pinellas County recently received an A+ transparency grade from the Sunshine Review for best local government Web sites in America.
Pinellas County is one of only eight out of more than 3,000 counties in the entire United States to receive this designation.
The newly redesigned Web site, www.pinellascounty.org, created through a partnership between the Pinellas County Business Technology Services and the Pinellas County Communications Department, was launched in May.
The county was able to achieve this prestigious designation after revamping the Web site’s “look,” upgrading its navigation, fine-tuning the public records content and including the lobbying aspect of the transparency criteria, according to a press release.
The A+ designation now qualifies Pinellas County for the Sunshine Review’s Sunny Award which recognizes state and local government Web sites for the information provided to its citizens.
The stringent transparency checklist measures what content is available on government Web sites against what content should be provided. The checklist includes ten specific transparency criteria: budget, meetings, elected officials, administrative officials, permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, public records and local taxes.
“Recently we’ve been working with the county administrator on a Gov 2.0 initiative, focusing on maximizing public usability of the Web site, enhanced citizen engagement and open government, leveraging the latest technology for cost efficiency,” said Michael Roiland, eGov/Web manager of Business Technology Services. “The purpose is to maximize transparency of government operations for effective Sunshine compliance and for optimum usability for the citizenry via the Web portal.”
Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the Web sites of all 50 states, more than 3,140 counties, 805 cities and 1,560 school districts.