What is Transparency?
You pay for your government, and you deserve to know how it spends your money.
That philosophy is gaining traction. State and federal governments are increasingly making financial transparency a priority, opting to make many records freely accessible, rather than leave the public waiting for information requests.
Transparency is a broad term that, quite literally, means something that can be seen through. When we talk about transparency in terms of government spending, we are referring to government opening its books to the public so that taxpayers can see exactly where their money is going. Transparency ensures that your taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently by making all decisions in the open and on the record. Transparency means that citizens can review and question policymakers' decisions, examine documents, root out inefficiencies and hold officials accountable for the way tax dollars are spent.
Technology — and the Web in particular — has changed the expectations for customer service and government transparency at all levels. In a computer- and Internet-based society, government can no longer justify the money and time required to print reports. Publishing information online means no postage, no waiting for the mail, up-to-date documents and worldwide accessibility.
By demystifying state spending and providing easy access to those numbers we ensure greater accountability to the public.