The goal of transparency in government is to promote efficiency and effectiveness -- and according to a new report, all states earn an overall grade of C- or better on the matter, with California, Washington and Illinois earning the top three spots, respectively.

The Sunshine Review's 2013 Transparency Report Card graded every state and the largest counties, cities and school districts within each state on the availability of information on government websites.

Government websites were graded “A” to “F” measuring available content available against a checklist of information all governments should provide to citizens -- and only a couple "F" grades were received.

“Transparency empowers citizens,” said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “Citizens are entitled to crucial information on how the public business is conducted and how public money is spent. Without this information, voters cannot hold government accountable. Without transparency accountability is impossible."

The top five best performing states were California, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, while the five worst performing states include Alabama, Kentucky Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota.

See the official ranking below (click image to enlarge):

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock