Colorado takes big jump in transparency of government spending

From the CoPIRG Foundation:  Colorado took a big jump forward in the transparency of its government spending according to Following the Money 2014: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the fifth annual report of its kind by the CoPIRG Foundation. After receiving a “D+” in 2013 and placing in the bottom ten states, Colorado jumped to a “B” and placed in the top 20 by implementing improvements like making over 19,000 public subsidies totaling $500 million accessible online.

“After a disappointing grade last year, we’re pleased that Colorado is clearly taking transparency seriously by opening up $500 million worth of subsidies on Colorado’s one-stop transparency website,” said Danny Katz, Director of the CoPIRG Foundation. “Transparency is important for making government more effective and accountable.”
Given technological advances and public expectations, if information is not online, it is not truly accessible. So the CoPIRG Foundation report compared Colorado’s online transparency to that of the 49 other states.

While Colorado ranked 42nd in the 2013 report, Colorado vaulted to 16th in 2014. Contributing to the jump was the action by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to open the books on the state’s subsidy payments. From the state’s transparency website, residents now have access to the details of over 19,000 subsidy awards with an aggregate value of $500 million granted between January 2011 and June 2013. Colorado also provides a statement about the specific types of transactions that are not included in their system.

Visit the CoPIRG Foundation for more.

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