Chicago Transit Authority earns high marks for spending transparency
Illinois has one of the largest number of special districts in the country, but the Chicago Transit Authority is a national leader in terms of easily accessed financial reporting, according to a recent report on the online transparency of special districts.
The United States Public Interest Research Group and Education Fund (US PRIG) analyzed the online transparency of 79 special districts throughout the country, measuring their performance against the Transparency 2.0 goal of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click information availability. The group found that special districts, while accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in public spending, are rarely as transparent as other government entities.
Only seven of the 79 districts received exemplary scores, while 30 passed and 42 failed. The Chicago Transit Authority was among the leaders, which the report attributes to 2015 legislation that required the creation of the Greater Chicago Mass Transit Transparency and Accountability Portal.
Those seeking information on spending by all Chicago-area transportation districts can find it in one place, including information on spending, contacts and employee data. The Chicago Transit Authority was the only reviewed district to offer a portal that includes checkbook data that can be searched.
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