Responsive Government in Grayson County
Grayson County initiated its Web site in August 1998, and placed its county budget and annual financial report on the Web at that time.
In December 2008, County Auditor Richey Rivers received correspondence about financial transparency from the Comptroller's office and visited its Open Book Texas Web site. He felt that placing the county's check registers online was a great idea; Grayson County did so on December 9, 2008. Records available for utility billing date back to September 2007, while the check registers date back to October 1, 2008.
The county provides online financial information with the assistance of the County's Information Technology (IT) department. County financial information is reported directly on the Web as well as on a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) network. IT staff post annual budget and financial reports to the Web site annually, while staff in the County Auditor's Office update the check registers weekly.
Grayson County's leaders are very supportive of transparency as a means of informing the public about all levels of government. Transparency has also been a vital part of the county's continuing effort to go paperless, which has saved money devoted to printing, filing and storing hard-copy documents.
According to Rivers, the most important steps in implementing transparency are to gain the support of county leadership, maintain an adequate IT department and provide as much information as possible to ensure public confidence in government.