Kansas Gets Failing Grade for Government Transparency

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new report by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity gives Kansas a failing grade for government transparency.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization ranked the state 42nd in the nation for openness in its report released Monday.

The report cited the centralization of power in the executive branch, the Governmental Ethics Commission’s inability to audit lawmakers’ financial disclosures and use of private email addresses by Governor Sam Brownback and administration officials.

The commission’s executive director, Carol Williams, says her seven-person staff is large enough to ensure lawmakers are filling out the forms, but not large enough to audit the roughly 6,000 forms it receives each year.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the report “contains errors,” and the report’s assertions that officials are not transparent are disingenuous.