Maryland receives 'F' grade in public access to information [REPORT] - Baltimore


May 13, 2013 12:26 pm

Maryland receives ‘F’ grade in public access to information [REPORT]

The state ranks 46th with respect to access to information, according to the State Integrity Investigation.

Gov. Martin O'Malley at a Pitch Across Maryland event in September 2012.

(Photo by Andrew Zaleski, file)

Maryland ranks 40th in “corruption risk,” according to the state’s “Corruption Risk Report Card.” That means just 10 states are deemed more likely to face impropriety because of a lack of transparency protections.

The report, compiled by the State Integrity Investigation (itself funded with $1.5 million), was put together by “experienced journalists” that “graded each state government on its corruption risk using 330 specific measures.” (Maryland’s report was put together by freelance investigative journalist Christian Bourge.)

View Maryland’s full report card below.

Noted in the report is Maryland’s ranking 46th in public access to information — a letter-grade of F.

Governor Martin O’Malley is routinely credited as an example of good government management for both the CitiStat program he implemented during his time as mayor of Baltimore and the corollary StateStat initiative he brought about once becoming Maryland’s governor. (A rather favorable profile of O’Malley is the cover story in the May/June issue of Washington Monthly.)

But, according to Bourge and the State Integrity Investigation, one of Maryland’s “most significant transparency challenges is a lack of substantive or easy access to government information.”

From the report:

Governor O’Malley and his backers have heavily promoted several data-access websites, includingStateStatBayStat, and GreenPrint, as examples of major improvement and key tools for increasing government transparency. …


But [Greg] Smith of Community Research [a nonprofit good-government group in Maryland] argued that “nothing could be farther from the truth.” He said the state’s spending transparency websites provide little more than window dressing and O’Malley is “about providing the information he wants in the ways he wants.”

Read Christian Bourge’s accompany article here.

Maryland’s “Corruption Risk Report Card”:

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