Time for Open Government is Now
“Pennsylvanians need greater transparency in how state government is spending their hard-earned money. An online database of state spending would allow every citizen to become a government watchdog. Particularly in our current economic environment, it is time for Pennsylvania to join the 25 states which have already enacted similar spending portals.
A single website containing state spending data would benefit not only taxpayers, but also elected officials. The current debate over the state budget indicates the need for accessible information about where tax dollars are going. Spending transparency would offer an open and honest budget debate.
An online spending portal will also help produce cost savings via increased efficiency, elimination of wasteful spending, and more competition for government contracts. And it would reduce the number of open records requests state agencies receive.
We applaud the efforts of Rep. Jim Christiana, Sen. Pat Browne, Rep. Bill DeWeese, Rep. William Kortz, Rep. Mike Vereb, Open Records Office Executive Director Terry Mutchler, and other policymakers who are championing more open, transparent, and accountable government.”
The Commonwealth Foundation (www.CommonwealthFoundation.org) is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg, PA.
Editors Note: For more information: see Elizabeth Bryan’s testimony on state spending transparency at www.CommonwealthFoundation.org.