County’s transparency ranking drops from 17th to 71st

Independence County went from a transparency ranking of 17th in the state in 2018 to 71st in the state in 2019, decreasing from a score of 0.231 down to 0.029 for transparency of important public information online, according to a report published by the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics at the University of Central Arkansas.

The rankings and scores are determined by “how much financial, political and administrative information their websites contain.”

Currently, the county’s website gives an error when accessed.

“We are having our website rebuilt,” said County Judge Robert Griffin. “It had too little function and was obsolete. When finished, we will have better access to different offices and be able to publish documents. “

Per the report, Jefferson County improved the most due to a new stand-alone county-owned website.

What is the minimum required by law?

An Arkansas state law passed in March of 2019 requires all Arkansas counties to post their annual budget on a website owned or maintained by the county, the state, or the Association of Arkansas Counties beginning on Jan 1, 2020.

Independence County posted a scanned document of their 2019 budget on a website provided by the Association of Arkansas Counties.

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