Spending Transparency Coming to Pennsylvania at Last

Pennsylvania taxpayers are one step closer to finding out exactly how state government spends their money. Yesterday, the legislature passed HB 15 to establish PennWATCH—a free public spending database including all state revenues and expenditures, much like an online checkbook.  Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Jim Christiana and Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne for the leadership on this issue over the last few years.

Pennsylvania now becomes the 37th state to pass spending transparency legislation. The spending portal will be housed in Office of Administration, and implementation—ensuring a user-friendly website that every Pennsylvanian can access—will be the next step to help taxpayers hold Harrisburg accountable.

By December 2012, the website will feature:

  • Information on state expenditures, including
    • Amount,
    • Name and address of the agency or vendor receiving funds,
    • The appropriation and the fiscal year the expenditure falls under,
    • The funding source, including the name of authorizing agency;
  • Monthly revenues from taxes and the federal government;
  • Performance measures to be evaluated; and
  • The names, titles and salaries of all state employees.
    • Monthly pay, compensation benefits and bonuses of all employees will be added by January, 2013

By December 2014 the website will also include:

  • A description of each appropriation, and 
  • Expected and achieved performance results.