For Immediate Release
Date: April 3, 2013
The City of Savannah website, www.savannahga.gov, recently received a national award for making government more open and transparent to its citizens. The Sunny Award was presented by the Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, during Sunshine Week in March.
The City of Savannah launched a completely redesigned website in November 2012 with a strong focus on user experience. The new site offers a broader range of tools for citizen interaction, including an online form to request public records, as well as a crowd-sourcing tool for citizen-driven initiatives and idea sharing. Citizens can sign up to automatically be emailed or texted news releases, agendas and event notifications. The site also provides easy access to an extensive video archive of City Council meetings, a robust portal for bids and contracts, and a new online portal to apply for and track the progress of building permits and inspections.
“I pledged to Council that the foundation of City operations would be based on trust, transparency and accountability,” Acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter said. “This is a great example of how we are working collectively to reflect this message.”
New website features include:• Notify Me email and text alerts: savannahga.gov/List.aspx• City-wide Calendar: savannahga.gov/Calendar.aspx• Community Voice idea sharing forum: savannahga.gov/CommunityVoice• Form Center: savannahga.gov/FormCenter
For the 2013 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 1,000 government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors review content such as budgets, meetings, contracts, and public records. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.
The Sunny Awards announcement fell during the annual “Sunshine Week” in March 10-16, a period nationally recognized by hundreds of media and civic organizations, that celebrates the efforts of activists and the strides taken towards open government. Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states and more than 7,000 state and local entities.