Archive for the ‘South Dakota’ Category
The governor of Alabama signed an executive order that creates an online database of all state government spending and legislators’ relationships with lobbyists. This will go online later this year, but many other states have already made available government spending, salary and revenue databases, often in a site dedicated to issues of transparency in government.
Open Georgia includes a searchable database of state employees and their salaries.
South Carolina gathers together links to their various online databases including, state expenditures and salaries.
Transparency rankings and states with spending online are listed at Sunshine Review.
Legislation, citizen activism and current news on state government transparency can be found at the Center for Fiscal Accountability.
It’s the season when government agencies attend to their voter registration online access. Election time presents a good opportunity to call people for information gathering. I’ll leave the details to your imagination, but in the interim check the New York Voter Registration Search at the NYS Voter site, operated by the New York Board of Elections. A search to confirm voter registration status requires first and last name, date of birth, county and zip code.
There may be less demand for this service, but South Dakota Secretary of State Voter Registration Portal has added voter lookup by name and date of birth.
The County of Santa Clara released a document listing the salaries of county employees in response to a Public Records Act request by the San Jose Mercury News. At any other time they probably wouldn’t have considered this a public record, but the recent California Supreme Court decision doesn’t leave an opening for government agencies to oppose release. The 389 page document covers Santa Clara County employees from June 19, 2006 through June 17, 2007.
The City of San Jose employee salary database for 2006 is also at the San Jose Mercury (registration required), or you can print the list, organized by salary, at the PI buzz Documents page. Both lists include employee name, job position and compensation.
South Dakota state government employees salaries are searchable by name or position. SouthDakotaInfo, the Argus Leader Web page of information databases, is listed among the media collections on my What’s New At… page, as is an expanded list of Missouri databases.
Add other resources to the California public records database links, PRA letter generator and government agencies that are being compiled at WikiFOIA. Other states are also here. If you want a good collection of all types of government databases go to the wiki, GODORT. Like any wiki, you can register and contribute sites to either of these.
Salaries of Delaware state employees who are paid with non public funds are not public records, according to an opinion issued this year by the Delaware Attorney General. Delaware State University solicited the opinion in response to a Freedom of Information request. At the time the AG assessed the University’s accounting system he concluded that it coded employee records to distinguish between employees paid with private money and those receiving payments from public funds. The determination is particularly troubling because the two employees on whom the data was requested are both state legislators.[Reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education.]
Of course, any public agency can follow the example of the North Carolina Columbus County Board of Commissioners and bury a public record in a confidential personnel file, then declare – mistakenly – that it’s not a public record.
Search collections of Washington State and Washington cities employee salary databases at this private Web site. Search statewide or within a city or agency. Data is collected for some sources for as much as 7 years. The site also has other databases and links to Washington State government databases for voters, real property ownership, inmates, court filings, restaurant inspections, recorded documents and newspaper name searches.
This South Dakota newspaper did a round-up of each state’s policy on release of government employee names and their pay, and whether an online searchable database was available. It would be a better reference tool if the site had provided hyperlinks to the state salary databases that are online.
Read prior PI buzz postings on databases and issues related to government employee salaries.
See the recently added category – What’s New At… – in the left sidebar, which includes a link to the collection of databases assembled by the Asbury Park Press. Just online is the salary database of 2006 federal employees. Search by name or agency to find their salary. Not all government employees are included.
Employees involved in security work, FBI, CIA, defense department, nuclear materials, and other jobs essential to national security are excluded. The list contains most executive branch employees but does not cover the White House, Congress, the Postal Service and independent agencies and commissions.
Dust is being stirred up over the Michigan employees salary online database. Some folks in government have forgotten that they’re working for the rest of us, that transparency is critical for good government. Unfortunately, they don’t see the advantage of knowing the income of similarly employed co-workers.
The online Iowa State Employee Salary Book is searchable by name from 1993 to the present.
South Dakota’s governor is still claiming that government employee names and rate of pay are not public records.
The South Dakota Supreme Court relied on the U.S. Supreme Court conclusions in California v. Greenwood in upholding the legality of curbside garbage searches. [State of South Dakota v. Wayne R. Stevens]
A review of these statutes shows no granting of authority to a municipality to place with its citizens an objective expectation of privacy in one’s trash when it has been put on the curb for city collection.
To establish a protected privacy interest in trash, a person (1) must have “‘exhibited an actual subjective expectation of privacy’” and (2) society must be “‘willing to honor this expectation as being reasonable.’”
The State of Oregon Supreme Court ruled in several related cases that no possessory interest in the garbage was retained once it was collected by the sanitation company, suggesting that there may be an reasonable expectation of privacy when the trash is curbside prior to collection. [See STATE OF OREGON, v. GARY DEAN DAWSON and STATE OF OREGON v. SHARON DAWN HOWARD]
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