on lobby spending and disclosure in the states, by the Center
for Public Integrity, May 15, 2003
and press release)
From the news release:
"While lobbyists and their employers in
39 states spent more than $715 million wining, dining and generally influencing
state lawmakers in 2002, many details about how those dollars were spent
remain hidden from public view, according to a comprehensive analysis
released today by the Center for Public Integrity.
More than half the states received a failing grade for their
registration and spending disclosure requirements filed by legislative
lobbyists. In fact, no state received an “A” on the Center’s
Electronic Filing and Disclosure Survey:
Center for Governmental Studies, November 2002
(Report in PDF)
This report examines the attitudes of states, the media, and candidates toward electronic
filing and disclosure systems. The report, looks at 50 states, 6 Canadian provinces
and 6 cities, is an update of a 2001 report on the same topic.
Report in PDF)
The Virtual Trail: Political Journalism
on the Internet
Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet at the George Washington University's
Graduate School of Political Management, October 2002
This report examines journalists' use of the internet to cover campaign finance.
Based on 271 interviews with political journalists from April 5 to May 14, 2002,
it finds that the internet has changed media coverage of campaign finance by increasing
the number of sources available to journalists.
Website Woes: The Federal Non-System for
Campaign Finance Disclosure
Campaign Finance Institute, October 2002
A report about the federal campaign finance disclosure system with analyses of the
Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies.
It identifies problems with the current federal campaign finance disclosure system
and offers recommendations for improvements.
Political Organizations: Data Disclosure
and IRS's Oversight of Organizations Should Be Improved.
General Accounting Office (GAO) Report GAO-02-444, July 17, 2002
This GAO report includes an assessment of IRS web site usability
to serve those who want to know who's funding the so-called "527" committees.
The appendix includes the survey questions they asked to do the assessment.
The Campaign Finance Reform Blind Spot
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation, July 2002
(Report in PDF)
A study about the quality of state online disclosure
of the financing of ballot measures. The study evaluated 24 states and the District
of Columbia, where ballot measures are used. The report evaluates states on their
filing requirements, data quality, voter access and data format.
State Secrets: A joint investigation of
political party money in the states
The Center for Public Integrity, The Center for Responsive
Politics and The National Institute on Money in State Politics, June 2002
Based on a year-long study, this report is about the
role of state parties in federal elections. The report examines state party contributions
and expenditures. It also includes information about soft money transfers to state
party committees from national party organizations and the potential impact of the
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act on the activities of the state parties.
The Information Society and the City: A
Study on Web sites and e-government
Metropolis, World Association of the Major Metropolises, May 2002
(Report in PDF)
From the publication's introduction:
"In order to stimulate the current development of e-government in large
urban areas the Metropolis Commission 4's report intends to provide recommendations
and and thought provoking ideas. These contributions are focused on the design
and distribution of online information and contents which are the most visible
aspects of e-government...The website survey consisted of an analysis and comparison
of available online contents."
The Rise of the E-Citizen: How People Use
Government Agencies' Web Sites
Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 2002
http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=57 (or in PDF)
This study examined how Americans are using government web sites, and its findings
show how citizens are increasingly turning to government web sites to seek information
and help. The study found that 68 million American adults have used government agency
Web sites, up from 40 million who had used government sites in March 2000. The survey
- 42 million Americans have used government Web sites to research
public policy issues;
- 23 million Americans have used the Internet to send comments to public officials
about policy choices; and
- 14 million Americans -- an estimated one out of every five Internet users -- have
used government Web sites to gather information to help them decide how to cast their
Overall the survey found that American Internet users are more
satisfied with the quality of information available at federal and state sites, while
local sites were found to be lacking.
Content or Graphics? An Empirical Analysis
of Criteria for Award-Winning Websites
Rashmi Sinha, Marti A. Hearst, Melody Y. Ivory, and Maya Draisin, June 2001
http://webtango.berkeley.edu/papers/hfw01/hfw01.htm (or in PDF)
Additional UC Berkeley web site evaluation publications
available at http://webtango.berkeley.edu/papers/
From the introduction of the paper:
"An oft-debated question in website design circles is the relative importance
of content versus graphics. The increasing popularity of Flash animation
is fanning the flames of this conflict [Nielsen00a]. There are many guidelines
for the design of websites [Nielsen00b, Borges96]. However, these guidelines
offer conflicting views of which dimensions are important for website design;
a recent survey of 21 web guidelines found little consistency among them [Ratner96].
We suspect this might result from the fact that there is a lack of empirical
validation for such guidelines. To provide an empirical basis to the underlying
debate, we examined the Webby Awards 2000 dataset to understand which factors
distinguish highly-rated websites from those that receive lower scores. "
E-Government: The Next American Revolution
Poll conducted by the Council for Excellence in Government, September 2000
From the introduction:
"These are among the findings of a three-part study on the issue of e-government,
conducted by Hart-Teeter on behalf of the Council for Excellence in Government, comprising
surveys among the general public, government officials, and institutional 'customers'
of government (businesses and nonprofit organizations). The surveys
explored the three populations' direct experience with and involvement in
e-government, as well as their expectations of it and goals for the future."
The Government Performance Project Grade
Including various studies and reports published by the Project, 1999-2002
The Government Performance Project is a comprehensive survey of the effectiveness
of core government management activities. Grade reports completed by the GPP include:
- Federal Grade Report, 1999 and 2000
- State Grade Report, 1999 and 2001
- City Grade Report, 2000
- County Grade Report, 2002
The GPP provides information about financial management, human
resource management, information technology and capital management systems, and procedures
for managing for results. It also considers leadership and positive efforts to change.
In examining systems such as information technology in a variety of settings, the
GPP creates opportunities for governments to learn from one another, to more systematically
examine how their own systems fit together, and to consider how their allocation
of resources to the various systems translates into overall effectiveness and performance
Digital Democracy Databank: Online Democracy
by the Numbers
Democracy Online Project, 1998-2002
A collection of surveys by George Washington University's Democracy
Online Project that look at use of the Internet in political campaigns and
by citizens participating in government, politics & elections.
OMB Watch Publications
Publications available through the OMB Watch web site include:
- Plugged In, Tuning Up: An Assessment of State Legislative
Websites (March 2001)
- Speaking up in the Internet Age: Use and Value of Constituent E-Mail and Congressional
Web Sites (December 1998)
- Democracy at Work: Nonprofit Use of Technology for Public Policy Purposes (December
Altertbox, Jakob Nielsen's Column on Web
(Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., Principal, Nielsen Norman Group, called "the guru of web page
usability" by the New York Times.)
Relevant past columns include:
Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design (May 1996)
"Top Ten Mistakes" Revisited Three Years Later (May 1999)
The Top Ten New Mistakes of Web Design (May 1999)
Even More New Web Design Problems
Severity Ratings for Usability Problems
The Penultimate Mile: Local and State Governments
Collaborating to Serve Citizens Through Information Technology
Book by Robert Greeves, Council for Excellence in Government
From the executive summary:
"This study was conducted by the Council for Excellence in Government to
learn more about innovative state and local government initiatives providing
service to citizens, directly or indirectly, through use of information technology.
Of particular interest were initiatives having an intergovernmental aspect to
them and/or employing public/private sector partnerships."
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