KRWG

Rue Calls For Audit To Expose Sunshine Portal Violators

Jan 13, 2018

Credit https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/

Commentary: New Mexico state agencies that are in violation of the law for not posting information on the state’s official transparency and accountability Sunshine Portal website will be exposed in an annual audit that Senator Sander Rue is calling for.

Senator Rue is sponsoring a bill requiring an annual review of compliancy by of agencies in all three branches of  government  that are supposed to be supplying information to be posted on the Sunshine Portal. The website is  located athttp://www.sunshineportalnm.com A recent in-depth review of the website   shows a vast number of agencies are not complying. (see attachment)

Senator Rue is the original sponsor of the portal bill from eight years ago, and of subsequent bills in past years that require more and more transparency in more agencies. When he recently perused the portal and noticed information from the Department of Education was missing, he asked the legislature’s staff to do a more in-depth review that revealed even more agencies were not in compliance with the law that required them to post information for the public’s benefit.

“These government agencies are not following the law and are denying members of the public  access to information they need and deserve about their state government,” Senator Rue said. “The law requires information be readily available on the internet and agencies are breaking the law.”

Senator Rue expects the audit will prompt agencies to follow the law.

His bill appropriates $50,000 from the general fund to the state auditor for 2019 to enter into a contract with an independent third party to review compliance of the legislative, executive and judicial agencies with the Sunshine Portal Transparency Act and to produce a report of its finding…to be posted on the Sunshine portal…as well as be given to the legislature, governor and supreme court.

The Sunshine portal is the official transparency and accountability portal for New Mexico State Government.  It is supposed to include information on government contracts, spending, budgets, employees, revenues and more.