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Survey Commends 12 Cities for Online Financials

Cities' fiscal challenges have made municipal financial information more critical than ever to taxpayers and investors, yet only 22 of the 75 largest American cities post detailed, up-to-date financials online, according to a survey conducted by a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The survey identified Chicago as one of the 12 cities offering timely, complete and accurate online financial information used by municipal bond investors, said Yonghung Wu, assistant professor of public administration at UIC.

Wu collaborated on the survey with MuniNetGuide, an online directory of research on local governments, as part of an ongoing effort to promote continuous financial disclosure in government reporting.

"There is still a long way to go for American city governments to provide online information aimed at investors. However, one bright spot is that some first-mover cities have emerged as leaders in providing investor-relations content through their websites," Wu said.

San Diego maintained the best information, followed closely by Albuquerque, N.M.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.

Other cities with good websites for investors were Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Researchers evaluated both the content and the presentation of the information. The researchers looked for easy-to-use current and archived annual reports, statements of new bond offerings, bond ratings, and bond sales calendars, as well as timeliness, comprehensiveness, and accessibility.

The survey report can be read at:

UIC ranks among the nation's leading research universities and is Chicago's largest university with 27,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world. For more information about UIC, please visit

Anne Brooks Ranallo | Newswise Science News
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