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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How transparent is the City?

A little over a month ago I introduced myself to Albuquerque's City Council at a city council meeting, informing city councilors that I would be conducting an information audit on the City of Albuquerque and other government entities. One might ask what the heck is an information audit? An information audit is an audit that can be conducted by a private citizen or a large media outlet on a government entity in order to test the accessibly of information. The first step taken in this process was to ask to be placed on the city's press release list. Initially the Director of Information had hesitations on whether or not to place me on the list since I am currently a freelance journalist and blogger. After pleading my case for three weeks I was placed on the list. In the interim I succeeded on being placed on press release lists from The City of Santa Fe to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. The average wait time to be placed on these lists ranged from five to ten minutes. I also found difficulty accessing information form the city's official website. Most city websites have a link to the city council agenda's on the home page. The City of Santa Fe emails the agenda after you sign up to be on their media release list. In order to access the City of Albuquerque's council meeting agenda I had to run several queries to access the link. Ironically the website received a transparency award. The Mayor's office will be hosting a "Chat with the  Mayor" event at the Cesar Chavez Community Center at 7505 Katheryn SE, tomorrow Oct. 27 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. For more information call 505-768-3000. 

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