'Unmarked' government vehicles targeted by transparency group
Local governments throughout Illinois own a total of more than 270,000 cars, according to the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW), who also say they are working on a system to allow anyone to quickly identify municipal vehicles.
The ECW argued that vehicle ownership should be more transparent to all.
"We are working on an application that will be searchable by license plate number, public body, and zip code so citizens and taxpayers can identify those vehicles in order to question the public body as to its use of public vehicles," the ECW said on its lllinois Leaks website. "Initially only the “M” and “U” plates will be searchable."
The ECW filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the Secretary of State to obtain the data on locally licensed cars, the group said, adding that since the cars are often unmarked, the only way to identify them is by the license plate.