TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Despite a promise from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration in 2010 to post performance reports for all of its government agencies monthly, three New Jersey agencies have failed to post any reports this year, including one agency that hasn’t posted anything since March 2015.
The YourMoney.nj.gov website, launched as part of a Christie promise for a new era of transparency, also includes public data on salaries and government purchases, but the promise for monthly performance reports has produced mixed results, according to a review by The Associated Press.
Three of the 22 agencies listed on the site had not updated their reports in 2016 as of Wednesday, while many others appear to be updated only quarterly. The details in the reports vary, with departments meeting some targets and missing others.
“This level of transparency and convenience never existed until this administration established it in 2010,” Christie spokesman Brian Murray said in a statement. “To the extent that three of 22 departments have recently fallen behind, they will update as soon as possible and invite the media and public to enjoy the 22 fully updated departments as they have for the last nearly seven years.”
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Josh Stewart, spokesman for the nonpartisan government transparency think tank the Sunlight Foundation, said that it’s difficult for taxpayers to hold officials accountable if all the information they’ve promised to publish isn’t available.
“The public doesn’t deserve partial information,” he said “The public deserves all of the information when it comes to how these agencies are performing.”
The Department of Community Affairs, Department of Human Services and Office of Homeland Security have failed to post any reports for the current year as of Wednesday. Homeland Security is missing reports going back to 2010.
After a reporter inquired, a spokeswoman for Community Affairs said the department is waiting for information technology officials to post the reports. An electronic copy of a report through September was shared Wednesday evening with The Associated Press.
A Human Services spokeswoman said the department’s reports should be available this week sometime. A Homeland Security spokeswoman pointed to annual performance updates included in the state budget but did not explain the missing reports.
The Civil Service Commission’s reports for January and February 2016 became available Wednesday after a reporter inquired.
Seventeen other departments listed on the performance center have been updated this year, with most posting their reports in June.
The Economic Development Authority appears to be missing reports from 2012 onward, but has merged its reporting with the State Department, according to a spokeswoman. It’s unclear when the merge began, but information on the authority has been updated this year.
According to the performance center website , Christie, a Republican, launched the state program “to track the operations and performance of each department of state government, with a particular focus on effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness and service quality. The Governor’s Performance Center will update performance reports monthly.”
Residents can also access information about each of the departments on their individual websites. The treasury department, for instance, makes information about budgets available on its website and includes annual performance targets for the departments.
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