Government Accountability

Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.

<p>Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.</p>

Introduction

There are two strategies public agencies may use to ensure private contractors perform as desired.  The first is to focus on inputs and include in the contract specifications how a job is to be performed and with what inputs.  The second strategy is to focus on outcomes.  Performance-based contracting is a contracting system that concentrates on intended results and incorporates incentives for the contractor to achieve them.

Phoenix--Congress is considering whether to expand the reach of the federal Clean Water Act. But is expanding a law designed for water-rich environments like Florida good for the drought-stricken deserts of Arizona? A new report from the Goldwater Institute says no.

Phoenix--More than 100 candidates running for office in Arizona this year are committed to making government more transparent. 116 incumbents and challengers running for almost every office, from every county, and from across the political spectrum, signed a pledge to prove their commitment to open government.

Phoenix--Tom Preston has owned and operated Virtual Reality, a tattoo studio in Mesa, for 14 years, with no consumer complaints or legal infractions. But when he and his wife, Elizabeth, sought to open a new studio in a vacant storefront in a strip mall on Scottsdale Road in Tempe, the City Council gave him a resounding no.

Phoenix's debate is brewing in Arizona over a voter initiative aimed at ending racial and gender preferences in government employment, contracting, and at universities. Opponents of the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative say there are no preference programs in Arizona to end and the initiative is a solution in search of a problem.

Phoenix -- Mark Twain once quipped, No mans life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. That certainly held true in Arizona this year. The 2007 legislative session was the worst for freedom in five years, according to the Goldwater Institutes fifth annual Legislative Report Card released today.

PHOENIX-A new Goldwater Institute policy report by Timothy Sandefur, Playing the Takings Game: How Government Regulates Away Property Rights, examines the impact of land use limitations on property owners. A "regulatory taking" occurs when government restricts or curtails the use of private property and thereby reduces its value. In these cases, poor judicial decisions let government escape compensating property owners as required by the constitution.

PHOENIX - The Goldwater Institute today filed an amicus brief in Granholm v. Heald, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that wine distribution laws in states such as Arizona and Michigan violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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