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Salt Lake City Transparency Kickoff

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As we come across materials on transparency that we think may be of general interest, we will include them here (or at least provide information on them).  These materials are provided for your information only -- the City does not necessarily endorse the views stated therein.

The research papers below have been prepared for us as background for this project by Daniel Brinton.  Dan is a student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the University of Utah’s Master of Public Administration program.  He helps analyze good governance initiatives as a graduate assistant with the University’s Center for Public Policy and Administration. (See Research Papers below) 

Speeches and Memos from Salt Lake City Officials

Mayor Becker's speech on Transparency (01/06/09)

Watch Press Conference (Video)



President Obama's Recent Memos on Transparency

Transparency and Open Government: Policies and Recommendations (Memo of 01/21/09)  

Freedom of information Act: Policies and Guidance (Memo of 01/21/09)

Executive Branch Appointees: Ethics Commitments (EO 13490)

Salt Lake City Articles and Posts 


How We Do Business City Policy for Employees (PDF)


Financial Transparency (PDF)


Departmental Baseline Assessments

  Books and Articles 

Ed Rutan and Esther Hunter.  "On Beyond GRAMA and the Open Meetings Act - The Proposal for Greater Transparency, Openness, and Inclusion in Salt Lake City Government."  Utah Bar Journal.  22, No. 1 (January/February 2009).  Available at

This article discusses how Salt Lake City plans to take transparency to a higher level, buildign on the foundation provided by the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act and Government Access and Management Act.


Utah League of Cities and Towns, “Making Sense of Dollars: A Guide to Local Government Finance in Utah,”  (2009)

This is an excellent introduction to how local governments in Utah are financed. It includes, for example, explanations of how the sales tax, property tax and truth in taxation work.The book is amply illustrated with chartsand tables supplementing the written explanations.If you are interested in this book, excerpts are on on the City Council webpage under Budget Information. Copies of the complete book are available at all branches of the Salt Lake City Library. You can also contact the Utah League of Cities and Towns directly at or 801-328-1601. 

 Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and James O’Toole, Tansparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor (Jossey – Bass, San Francisco 2008)

This is a collection of three essays discussing transparency within and between organizations, in terms of personal responsibility and in the context of the new “digital reality”

W. David Patton, “The Time Is Right for Transparency,”  Policy Perspectives (Center for Public Policy and Administration, August 27, 2008)

 This article discusses transparency in general, with a focus on transparency in government finances.


Tony Carrizales,  “Functions of E-Government:  A Study of Municipal Practices,” State and Local Government Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 1 (2008): 12-26.

This article discusses the four functions of “e-government”, including “e-democracy”—citizen participation in government decision-making through electronic means.  The article then surveys how these functions have been implemented by various municipalities around the country.  Among its conclusions, the study notes that “it is ironic that municipalities with an elected mayor, which is reflective of democratic practices, tend to have less advanced e-democracy practices.”  Salt Lake City definitely does not intend to follow that tendancy! 

Monson, Derek, Transparency in Government - Understand Why Utah's New Transparency Law Facilitates Good Government, 2008 Sutherland Policy Report,

This is an informative discussion of transparency proceeding from conservative principles and includes valuable insights from our Founding Fathers.




State of Utah:  

This website provides a status report on the development of “Transparent Utah,”  the Utah Public Finance Website that is being developed following the passage of S.B. 38 by the Utah Legislature during the 2008 session.  The website, scheduled to come on line by May 15, 2009, will contain a wide range of financial information about the State’s operations.  Legislation will be proposed during the 2009 session to require local government entities to provide financial information on a public website.

The Community Planning Website: Principles:

Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know:

Burlington, Vermont:




 Research Papers Minimize
 TitleModified DateSize (Kb) 
Literature Review4/13/2010132.37Download
Best Practices - Additional Info4/13/201098.51Download
Best Practices11/24/200898.51Download

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