Now, more than ever, taxpayers deserve to know exactly how their dollars are being spent by state government.
That is why, two years ago, my administration created an on-line transparency portal, www.opendoor.com. Open Door includes a searchable database of all expenditures and contracts, including:
• Copies of current contracts.
• Salary and state property searches.
• Details on Executive Branch Ethics and the Open Records process.
• Searches for local, state, and federal officials.
• And a variety of information sources including GIS maps, interactive budget charts and important state financial documents.
Kentucky’s Open Door Web site has repeatedly been in the national spotlight as a leading public resource for openness and civic engagement.
Last June, The Center for Study of Responsive Law, a nonprofit organization that researches government and corporate accountability, recognized Kentucky as a national leader for transparency in state contracts.
Last April, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group gave Kentucky the highest rating for openness in government.
Recognizing the importance of keeping taxpayers informed, the Judicial Branch of state government decided last January to join Open Door, and it now posts on-line all of its expenditures and contract data information.
I invited the General Assembly to do the same. So far it hasn’t.
But it’s not too late.
Recently, some legislators have once again expressed interest in this area.
Given that, on Thursday I wrote a letter to legislative leaders again inviting the Legislative Branch to join the Executive Branch, Judicial Branch and all of Kentucky’s constitutional officers to voluntarily make contract and spending information available on Kentucky’s existing online transparency portal, Open Door.
Good legislation in this area would always be welcome, but the new system as proposed by some is unnecessary, and would be costly to the public.
Instead, the Legislative Branch could join the existing nationally recognized Open Door portal in short order at no additional cost to taxpayers. We would be the first state where all three branches of government used the same portal.
I encourage officials to do so immediately.
Taxpayers deserve to know where their money is being spent.