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updated: 6/4/2012 9:46 PM

Round Lake scores good marks with government transparency

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Round Lake is mostly hitting the mark when it comes to government transparency, according to a village board committee's analysis.

Human resources and finance committee members gave a presentation on the findings and recommendations from the in-house examination at a meeting Monday night. Trustees Greg Clements and Susan Triphahn worked on the analysis with Finance Director Steve Shields.

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Clements said the officials started to examine the village's level of transparency in 2011.

The committee uses a checklist from the Sunshine Review organization for the evaluation.

Round Lake met or exceeded requirements in five of 10 major categories: budget, meetings, administration officials, audits and public records.

The Sunshine Review checklist for budgets suggests that government websites provide current and past documents, a checkbook register and credit-card receipts. All of that is provided by Round Lake.

For the heading of administration officials, Round Lake hits the mark by offering all names and contact information on the village website. It also has audit reports and name and contact information for the Freedom of Information Act officer, as recommended by the Sunshine Review.

Round Lake needs to start providing information about payments made to taxpayer-funded government lobbying organizations, according to the village committee's analysis. It also should look into listing vendor contracts.

Based on the Sunshine Review's criteria, Round Lake doesn't meet transparency requirements in just two of 10 areas -- contracts and lobbying. It meets some standards in local taxes, permits and zoning, and elected officials.

Clements and Triphahn expressed satisfaction with the village's performance.

"We've been providing a lot more for everyone to see," Triphahn said.

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