City of Huntsville Wins National Transparency Award

Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, has released the winners of the fourth annual Sunny Awards, among them the City of Huntsville, which also won in 2012. The award, which honors the most transparent government websites in the nation, went to 247 governmental entities, with Florida receiving the most Sunny Awards.

The award honors entities that know the importance of promoting transparency and continue to empower citizens by providing the necessary information to keep them informed on the actions their government is taking on their behalf.

For the 2013 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 1,000 qualifying government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided. They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.

The Sunny Awards recognize governments that make transparency a priority. The winners of the Sunny Awards are cities, counties, and school districts that proactively share public information and keeps government accountable to the people,” said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “We would like to congratulate the City of Huntsville for being a champion for transparency and serving as a leader to state and local government around the nation.”

Eight states earned nearly half of the 247 Sunny Awards given. The leading states were Florida (25), Virginia (19), Illinois (19), California (12), Georgia (12), Kansas (11), Oklahoma (10) and Colorado (9). In addition, 35 counties, 22 cities and 42 school districts from all over the country earned the coveted “A+” grade.

The Sunny Awards announcement falls during the annual of “Sunshine Week,” March 10-16, a period nationally recognized by hundreds of media and civic organizations, that celebrates the efforts of activists and the strides taken towards open government.

Sunshine Review is a nonprofit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and a transparent government. Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states and more than 7,000 state and local entities.

For information on Sunshine Review please contact Meghan Tisinger at or (703)965-1145.