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Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Governing in the Shadows: OHA Scores ‘F’ on Transparency
By News Release @ 2:17 PM :: 1684 Views :: Ethics, OHA

Governing in the Shadows

Rating the Online Financial Transparency of Special District Governments

From USPIRG: FOLLOWING THE MONEY 2017: SPECIAL DISTRICTS

Citizens’ ability to understand how their tax dollars are spent is fundamental to democracy. Budget and spending transparency holds government officials accountable for making smart decisions, checks corruption, and provides citizens an opportunity to affect how government dollars are spent.

“Special districts” are a type of government agency that exist outside of traditional forms of general purpose local or state governments, and serve key governmental functions such as public transit or housing. However, special districts are poorly understood by the public and often do business without adhering to modern standards of government budget or spending transparency. The lack of transparency and accountability of many special districts has caused concern among some state agencies and government watchdogs, as it can contribute to an atmosphere conducive to lowered efficiency and potential misconduct.

A review of 79 special districts’ online financial transparency shows that while a few districts are meeting the goals of “Transparency 2.0” – a standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one click budget accountability and accessibility – the vast majority do little to inform citizens about how they spend money. To empower and engage the public, enable citizen oversight of all branches of government, and improve the efficiency with which they operate, special districts, along with local and state governments, should expand the amount and improve the quality of spending data that are made available to the public online….

The Failing Districts

Of the 79 special districts evaluated for this report, 42 received failing grades for their online financial transparency. Eleven districts received zero points. No Failing District provides a register of online checkbook-level spending, and only a handful provide both a budget document and a comprehensive annual financial report. The majority of Failing Districts only provide one kind of financial document, and of those providing an annual report, many only provide financial highlights as opposed to an audited annual financial report….

read … Full Report

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Scores

HI State 
OHA District
Other Function 
F Type
14 Grade
0 Point Total
0 Checkbook 
0 Search by Recipient
0 Search by Keyword
0 Bulk Downloadable
0 Excluded Information
0 FY17 Budget Doc
0 Historical Budgets
0 Salaries
0 Downloadable
10 FY15 CAFR
4 Historical CAFRs

USPIRG: NEW REPORT: SPECIAL DISTRICTS TOO OFTEN FAIL TO SHOW HOW THEY SPEND MONEY

CB: OHA Gets An F Grade For Telling You How It Spends Your Money

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