California government gets B-minus in corruptibility report


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California does a poor job providing the public with access to government information but has a safeguard against corruption in aggressive auditors, good disclosure of lobbying activity and the way it redraws legislative districts, according to a survey done by good-government groups.

Overall, California was given a B-minus in the State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of transparency, accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in all 50 states. The grade put California among the top five states, falling just behind New Jersey.


‘California scored relatively highly on the State Integrity Index, but the state could improve in such areas as campaign finance enforcement and pension fund management,’ said the report by the Center for Public Integrity, Public Radio International and Global Integrity.

The state’s overall grade was dragged down by a D-minus in the category of public access to information, and a C-minus in the area of judicial accountability, but it received A’s in the areas of lobbying disclosure, internal auditing and redistricting. Last year, the state took the redrawing of legislative districts away from legislators and gave the job to a citizens panel.

Last week, a more limited study by the California Public Interest Research Group faulted Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to take down a ‘transparency’ website in giving the state a D-minus on public reporting of spending.


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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento