Opinion: State is transparent enough, but needs a better way to appeal denial of records

From The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction): Public integrity. Sounds pretty neat, although I can’t decide which way it runs. Does it mean that the public has integrity or that people who serve the public have integrity?

No matter, the Center for Public Integrity has chosen for us and decided it means how aboveboard governments and public servants are in the administration of their positions.

In keeping with that line, the group decided to rate the various states on how much integrity they exhibit in relation to their citizens. Colorado, received a D+ which isn’t as bad as it sounds since no state received higher than a C and at our total score of 67 we rate 13th on their scale, which sort of implies it runs from bad to worst, with bad being best.

If one were to grade on a curve, we would lie somewhere in the B to B- range in their testing. Normally, I’m circumspect in dealing with a group giving itself too high-sounding a name as some sort of watchdog on the public sector.

Most groups that bill themselves as protectors of altruistic positions are frequently partisan and when using the terms fairness, justice, ethics and their synonyms in describing their efforts to oversee political subdivisions or politicians, are often misappropriating the terms.

Nevertheless, this study was interesting in the areas that it thought were important, because for the most part, they’re interested in the right things.

Colorado’s score was a combination of highs and lows, with the state receiving a B+ for the ability of the public to see what was going on in the budget process but an F in the process available for the public to get much detail about how it all came about.

Budget transparency is practically a prerequisite due to our Taxpayers Bill Of Rights (TABOR), which effectively requires all spending to be examined in terms of revenue source, taxation growth and expenditure in relation to known benchmarks like population and inflation.

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