A recent report from the Center for Public Integrity ranks Wyoming 48th in the nation when it comes to accountability in state politics. According to the report, Wyoming and a number of other western states seemed to operate with a live-and-let-live attitude when it came to government, stressing a strong preference for informal societal controls as opposed to legislative actions that regulated oversight.
Gordon Witkin is with the Center for Public Integrity. He says Wyoming is too relaxed when it comes to oversight and auditing processes.
"Open records laws, disclosure of information. Wyoming was low in executive accountability, it was ranked 49th in various auditing functions, staff is fairly limited for those sorts of things, and those are the kinds of systems that are designed to guarantee openness and transparency and ferret out possible corruption."
Witkin says budget cuts, and letting-go of employees responsible for accountability have been a major blow to oversight in the state… However, on one bright note: during the last legislative session, state lawmakers approved Open Meetings and Records laws that dealt with electronic records such as emails from public officials.