Better Government Association Expands Electronic Access to Public Records
Mary Frances O’Connor (312) 821-9026
Robert Herguth (312) 821-9030
CHICAGO—With a goal of promoting public-sector transparency, and providing easy access to otherwise hard-to-get public information, the Better Government Association (BGA) recently launched two new web features: the Pension Outlook Database, and a separate page showcasing FBI files on select public figures.
Both offerings are available through the BGA’s web site, www.bettergov.org.
The Pension Outlook Database contains searchable information – obtained from the largest public-sector pension funds in Illinois – on more than 400,000 current and former government employees who someday might collect a taxpayer-subsidized pension.
This offering supplements the BGA’s popular Payroll Database (which provides salary information on public workers throughout Illinois) and Pension Database (which provides pension information on former public workers now drawing taxpayer-supported retirement benefits.)
The new Pension Outlook Database is a timely addition to the BGA’s web menu, given the massive pension debt in Illinois that’s threatening the stability of government institutions.
Meanwhile, the BGA also recently launched a special web page that provides easy access to FBI files on select individuals with ties to government in Illinois – from a now-deceased Chicago congressman to a wealthy government contractor with mob ties.
"These are additional steps in our ongoing commitment to provide people with information that is typically hard to get," said Andy Shaw, the BGA’s president and CEO. "Our watchdog mission is to shine a light on government and hold public officials accountable, and that requires this kind of transparency and accessibility."
"It’s worth noting that this is a work in progress, meaning new information will be added as we obtain it," Shaw added.
The Better Government Association is a Chicago-based nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog group that works for integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing corruption and inefficiency; identifying and advocating effective public policy; and engaging and mobilizing the electorate to achieve authentic and responsible reform.