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Tag Archive: states of transparency

States of Transparency: Colorado

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Colorado
Website: www.tops.state.co.us


File this under "Valiant attempts." When the state of Colorado created the government spending website TOPS (Transparency Online Project) in the fall of 2009, officials dutifully made every piece of data on the site downloadable. Unfortunately, while the idea is laudable, the execution is a little weak. The data is in XML format -- a handy format for computer programmers -- but isn't structured well enough to ...

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States of Transparency: Alaska

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Alaska
Website: http://fin.admin.state.ak.us/dof/checkbook_online/reports.jsp


During her 2008 vice presidential bid, Sarah Palin touted Alaska's so-called "Checkbook Online" as a model of transparency. It's a great way to find out how the state is spending its money, but the site offers few other features. We can't find out how much cash state employees bring home because in Alaska, unlike in several other states ...

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States of Transparency: Missouri

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Missouri
Website: www.mapyourtaxes.mo.gov


Residents of Missouri who want a glimpse at their state's official checkbook have a great resource in the so-called Missouri Accountability Portal (MAP). It's lacking one important tool, however: an accounting of state revenues. Online since 2005, the site boasts real-time updates, full downloadability and checkbook-level details. While it could benefit from a couple of improvements -- such as a list of the dates purchases were ...

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States of Transparency: South Dakota

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: South Dakota

Website: www.open.sd.gov

After an open records law passed last year, a South Dakota reporter was able to discover that a Canadian company was getting state tax incentives for building a crude oil pipeline. Democratic state representatives jumped on the issue as a lesson about secrecy in government. While the Freedom of Information Act-like law may be reaping rewards for state reporters, however, the state's transparency website will ...

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States of Transparency: New Jersey

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: New Jersey

Website: www.nj.gov/transparency

               www.elec.state.nj.us

Six months after a corruption scandal that was lurid even by local standards, New Jersey's new governor boosted state transparency efforts in January with a new website. The site, www.nj.gov/transparency, publishes state spending and revenues, and although it received one of the lowest scores in the US Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG)'s recent survey of such sites, it has promise. What's more, the state also boasts an excellent campaign finance portal -- www.elec.state.nj.us.

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States of Transparency: Illinois

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Illinois

Website: www.accountability.illinois.gov

In a state where good government groups have been working to increase transparency since the days of Al Capone, how is Illinois doing in bringing their transparency efforts into the 21st century? Quite well, say open government boosters like US Public Interest Research Group, who recently ranked the state third in their review of state websites designed to get crucial spending data online. Still, local transparency advocates ...

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States of Transparency: Washington

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Washington
Website: www.fiscal.wa.gov



USPIRG, a public interest group, ranked Washington state second lowest in the country in a recent evaluation of spending websites that track contracts and grants among other expenditures across states.

While the site, fiscal.wa.gov, links to a relatively broad swath of datasets, that data will have to get a lot more granular to be really useful to researchers and journalists.

A transparency website was mandated ...

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States of Transparency: Ohio

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Ohio
Website: www.transparency.ohio.gov

Ohio's open government site, transparency.ohio.gov, contains links to a few searchable databases; the results of one of them can even be downloaded as an Excel file. Unfortunately, the majority of the data cannot currently be downloaded.

Here's a rundown of what is and isn't available online:

Expenditures: The broad strokes -- how much each agency spent per month -- are downloadable as Excel files ...

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States of Transparency: Arizona

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Arizona
Website: www.azcheckbook.com


Arizonans finally got a government spending website in February with azcheckbook.com, joining 35 other states that offer such data online. Transparency efforts there still have a long way to go, however. USPIRG, in an April report, rated Arizona last among states that have such open government sites.

State Treasurer Dean Martin, who calls AZcheckbook a "labor of love," says he completed it in his spare time and ...

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States of Transparency: Kentucky

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The Open Government Directive encouraged states to put valuable government data online. In this series we're reviewing each state's efforts in this direction.

This week: Kentucky
Website: www.opendoor.ky.gov


While Kentucky has one of the country's most highly rated open government websites, OpenDoor.Ky.Gov, there is still much the state could do to provide more information in friendlier formats to reporters and the public.
The site, launched by Governor Steve Beshear in January 2009, was rated best in the country by USPIRG in its April survey of state government spending sites. It features a ...

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