Passing along this wonderful post from Sunlight on a fabulous new FOI classroom project! Love to see this kind of stuff!
On April 11, 2012 ten University of Utah Honors students will launch a state-wide public initiative which, if successful, will forever change how Utah citizens interact with their local governments. The initiative, called the Utah Local Government Transparency Project, (the “Transparency Project”) is the end result of eight months of study by the students in an Honors College Think Tank on Transparency and Privacy. The Think Tank explored the often competing paradigms of privacy and transparency and heard from leading local and national experts in the area of open government and privacy (including Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation) to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities, nuances and challenges of balancing and reconciling these two competing interests. We learned many things, including the fact that local governments in Utah, with some notable exceptions, lagged behind many of their counterparts around the nation in terms of transparency. A study of 16 selected Utah local governments conducted as part of the Project demonstrated a wide disparity in government transparency practices and identified many transparency deficiencies. From this in-depth study the Transparency Project was born. As explained in greater detail below, the centerpiece of the Project is five transparency “best practices” for local governments to adopt.
Go, Utes! Go!