MONTGOMERY - Governor Bob Riley's continuing efforts to bring greater transparency to government spending moved forward with www.open.alabama.gov, a new website that puts the state's checkbook online.
Last month, Governor Riley issued an executive order creating by March 1 a publicly accessible website that details spending done by state government. The website, which offers an unprecedented level of detail about state government spending, went online February 27.
On Wednesday, the Governor led a demonstration of the transparency tool.
"The more transparency we have in government, then the more accountability we'll have in government. This is a common sense idea that helps taxpayers keep track of how their money is being spent and where it's going," said Governor Riley. "This is an unprecedented level of openness for state government. All this information empowers taxpayers to become better watchdogs of their government."
The website includes more than just the state's checkbook. The site is a web portal to all types of information on state government. It includes not only the section on state spending, but also a list of all active statewide contracts and awarded bids, a database of all leases held by state departments, links to notices filed under the Alabama Open Meetings Act and campaign finance reports, and information on the Riley Administration's SMART Governing initiative, which requires state agencies to link their budget requests to measurable objectives.
It will become even easier for taxpayers to lift the veil on government spending by September 1, when the online state checkbook will be searchable.
The new website is the latest move by Governor Riley to bring a greater level of transparency to state government. Governor Riley is the first governor to voluntarily disclose spending out of the Governor's Contingency Fund and use of state aircraft. His administration implemented the SMART Governing reform, which requires each agency of state government to link its spending with measurable results that taxpayers can review online. The Governor is also pushing a comprehensive anti-corruption bill in the Legislature that includes provisions to require full disclosure of lobbyist spending on public servants and disclosure of financial transactions between lobbyists and public servants and members of their families.