Frequently asked questions
What is Sunshine Review?
- Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a "10-point Transparency Checklist" to evaluate the content of every state and more than 6,000 local government websites. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and an accountable government.
Why use a wiki platform for Sunshine Review?
- Wiki platforms are unique in allowing everyone in the nation to have a voice about what is going on in his or her county, city or school district. Wiki software enables user-friendly, accessible opportunities for mass collaboration.
What is the goal of Sunshine Review?
- Sunshine Review aims to provide a collaborative project to act as a customer service hot-line for government transparency and accountability.
Give us an example?
How's that "My Government Website" project coming along?
I want to improve my transparency score. How can I do that?
- If you think that your government could be more transparent, attend a meeting and ask them to improve their transparency score. If your government website isn't rated yet, then you can do. See how in our video tutorial. You can even advocate for the transparency checklist to be added as legislation using our Sunshine Standard.
I'm having trouble with my government. What should I do?
Please understand the following is not legal advice. If your government is blocking you from open meetings or from making public records requests, you can do one of several things:
- Refile the request using different language.
- Ask other FOIA advocates your question during our FOIAchat, which is held every Friday from 2-3 pm ET.
- Appeal the request. You'll need to hire a lawyer to do this. The National Freedom of Information Coalition can help you with this if you apply for their Knight FOI Fund. Sunshine Review is unable to help you with this process.
- File a complaint with your Attorney General.
You can also add your government's behavior to their Sunshine Review article, report it on a blog, or to your local newspaper. To learn how to add information to your government article watch our video tutorials.
Who uses Sunshine Review?
- Anyone and everyone can use Sunshine Review. We talk to activists, stay at home moms and lawyers on their lunch breaks who want help to add to the website and/or report on government secrecy.
Why should you use Sunshine Review?
- We shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission to be an informed citizen. The government should be adapting to new technologies so that the public can stay informed.
How can you become a contributor on Sunshine Review?
When did Sunshine Review launch?
- Sunshine Review officially launched in July of 2008 and continues to grow and develop.
Are you affiliated with any other organizations?
How is Sunshine Review funded?
- Sunshine Review is funded largely by grants and a number of private donations. Our organization believes there is a difference between government transparency and personal privacy and for this reason we do not disclose our donors.