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Sunlight Weekly Round-up: New Oklahoma website improves state accountability

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For a while now, we have been advocating for opening up our government through the use of technology and the Internet.  A couple of bloggers in this roundup raise similarly interesting issues - one, focuses on creating efficiencies through technology - and the other, on providing searchable data using technology. However, the journey does not end when government embraces new media. Maintaining the conversations that initiated the creation of this media, is important because it ensures that both the citizens and their government are talking with and listening to each other.

  • Fiscal responsibility and transparency in Oklahoma is set to improve. A new website containing data from the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, is now providing information on the state’s spending. AccountabilityOK is a user-friendly  transparency website that shows revenues and tax credits while enabling the public to hold their government accountable. Sid Burgess is offering a few cosmetic suggestions for the website but is quick to thank its creators for opening up government data, on Local Sid.
  • Yesterday, the Minnesota government, shutdown after lawmakers failed to agree on the state budget. Sam Richter’s experience in sales and marketing gives us a first hand view on the issues involved in the shutdown. He recommends using technology in government in order to increase efficiency. At the same time, he recognizes that leaders who still want to pass budgets that are in favor of major corporations, because they want to maintain political contributions from them, should start thinking long term and make decisions that will benefit the public. Read more on Know more blog.
  • County employees may not be happy about it but residents in Baltimore, Maryland will now have a chance to see their local leaders’ salaries online. Found under the human resources section on the county’s website, the database will show the government employees’ gross pay and expenses. Raven Hill shares that the move was to increase transparency in the way government operates in Maryland.  See who gets paid most on Maryland Politics.