Ranking the States on Financial Transparency

Every state except Idaho, Michigan and Vermont requires its elected officials and other significant policymakers to submit annual public financial disclosures. In Massachusetts, these disclosure forms are called Statements of Financial Interest (“SFIs”). Such disclosures are an essential tool for the public and press to protect against the potential intrusion of conflicts of interest into public policymaking.

Pioneer developed this data application to compare how states make these financial disclosures public.  The goal of this project is to encourage the public to demand that their states institute practices that will lead to greater transparency.  We applaud the nine highly-transparent states with perfect scores: Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia.

Pioneer ranked each state based on attributes weighted as follows:

Attribute: Weight
Proof of Identification of Requestor Not Required 30%
Agency Not Required to Notify Filer of Requestor’s Name 30%
Posted Online 10%
Posted Online and Free Open to View Without Establishing Account 10%
Requestor’s Name and/or Personal Information Not Required 10%
Filer Must Submit Disclosures Electronically 5%
Electronically Searchable Disclosure Form Available 5%
TOTAL 100%

We used a color scale to compare state scores with dark green being highly transparent and red meaning inadequate public access. You can hover over each state to view the detail of the scoring

The data is as of April 2019. Pioneer Institute intends to update this data annually.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/massachusetts.population#!/vizhome/SFI_Totals/Map?publish=yes