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Carrollton’s Transparency Practices Earn Top Grades

Post Date:01/29/2015
The Dallas Morning News issued the results of a transparency study among several North Texas agencies last week and Carrollton earned glowing As across the board.

Carrollton, receiving an overall grade of 96.2 percent, was among the best in the 2015 transparency ratings. Top marks were made in all four categories: Request Best Practices, Request Compliance, Web Customer Service, and Online Meeting Notices.

“Real transparency requires commitment and follow through from the entire organization,” said Mayor Matthew Marchant. “We’ve worked hard to make Carrollton open to our citizens and constantly work with staff to find new and improved ways to open up City Hall.”

Request Best Practices and Request Compliance account for the largest percentages of the overall grade. Both categories specifically evaluate how government entities handle open records requests. The former measures best practices, customer service, processing costs, and attorneys general rulings. The latter measures whether entities can meet the deadlines stipulated by the Texas Public Information Act.

“In comparison, Carrollton takes extra initiatives like adopting an internal public information act policy to establish council-initiated standards for staff to follow as well as establishing clear timetables for facilitating access in order to remain transparent,” City Attorney Meredith Ladd said. “We strive to ensure responsible governing practices and will continue to work to provide clear direction for consistency.”

The rankings evaluated 113 cities, counties, and school districts among The Dallas Morning News’ coverage area. The entire region earned an overall grade of 84.6 percent.

“The Mayor and City Council accept nothing less than staff being fully accountable for their actions, therefore openness is at the core of the City of Carrollton culture in everything we do,” City Manager Leonard Martin said. “Government must be held accountable for actions taken, and transparency is the foundation of accountable government.”

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