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Survey Finds Marylanders Unhappy With Lack of Transparency in State Government

A majority of Marylanders are dissatisfied with the way they receive information about new laws, taxes, and regulations, according to a new poll.

The Opengov Foundation surveyed 614 registered voters in the state and found that 66 percent of respondents were not happy about the way state policies are disseminated.  The survey also revealed that 78 percent of respondents want advance notice of policies that will affect their business and families.

A majority of those surveyed, 56 percent, use Facebook, and only 19 percent use Twitter.

The numbers substantially increase with younger voters ages 18-49.   In that demographic 78 percent are dissatisfied with how state government information is currently disseminated, and 77 percent want advance notice.  More younger voters used Facebook, 78 percent, and 26 percent use Twitter.

Infographic-on-OpenGov-Research

Courtesy Maryland Reporter 

OpenGov Foundation says the survey points to three emerging open government and open data opportunities.

  1. Improve the quality of public, government data delivered to citizens;
  2. Deliver it to impacted individuals and businesses directly, early and often;
  3. Low-to-no-cost social media solutions are already in the hands of the people.

Despite Governor O’Malley’s rhetoric about transparency and open government, this survey reiterates the fact that transparency and open data are not priorities for state government.

Maryland ranked 40th on the State Integrity Report’s Corruption Risk Report Card with an overall grade of D- and grade of F for access to public information.

Governor O’Malley’s vaunted State Stat performance measurement program measures a lot, but doesn’t tell citizens much, and it failed to find the contraband cell phones a violent drug gang used to effectively take control of a state correctional facility.

Under O’Malley, state agencies routinely violate the spirit of the Maryland Public Information Act by charging exorbitant fees for public documents to avoid disclosure.

Mark Newgent

Mark Newgent is the editor of Watchdog Wire - Maryland, and a contributing editor to Red Maryland, the premiere blog of conservative politics in the Free State, voted one of the best state political blogs by the Washington Post two years in a row. His writing has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Washington Examiner, National Review Online, and more. Contact: Maryland@WatchdogWire.com, Twitter: @MarkNewgent

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Categories: Government Transparency, Must Read, Open Government, Transparency
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