The official elected as the state’s accountability watchdog is creating a new program to encourage better open records policies among local governments, measuring best practices for following what are known as Sunshine Laws.
Auditor Keith Faber announced the four-star rating system which will offer one star if the government is meeting the bare minimum on Sunshine Law requirements and offers a star for each additional best practice implemented.
"I think what it's really going to do is encourage people to be more attentive to this issue because actually someone's actually taking a look at it," says Faber.
Faber says the government scorecards can be accessed through a searchable online database. Ratings will be entered into the system starting next year.
Star Rating System:
1 Star, "Open and Transparent Government" (Meets all Sunshine Law requirements)
2 Stars, "Achievement in Open and Transparent Government" (1-2 best practices)
3 Stars, "Outstanding Achievement in Open and Transparent Government" (3-4 best practices)
4 Stars, "Highest Achievement in Open and Transparent Government" (5 or more best practices)
Zero Stars, A local government is non-compliant with Ohio's Sunshine Laws