STATEHOUSE (Jan. 5, 2012) – A recent law authored by State Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) and State Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) increasing transparency of government expenditures has resulted in the only website in the nation to receive an “A” grade from the Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups and the Sunshine Review – two non-profit organizations dedicated to state and local government transparency.
Hershman and Turner, who are also members of the Legislative Council tasked with reviewing the implementation of the Indiana Transparency Portal, www.transparency.in.gov , said the site is setting the gold standard of disclosure for government.
“This website aims to provide the public with complete access to information about how Indiana is utilizing taxpayer resources,” Hershman said. “At this point, more data on state government revenue, spending and salaries is available online than ever.”
Turner said a newly launched interactive menu item provides taxpayers information on local government budgets and tax data.
“We created a website that was easy to access, easy to use and most importantly, shows Hoosiers how their hard-earned dollars are spent,” Turner said. “This bill was drafted with the taxpayer in mind. To hear the portal received an ‘A’ grade reflects the website as a strong method for Hoosiers to review budget and financial information of their state and local governments.”
More than 150,000 viewers have accessed the transparency portal since its August 2010 launching.
“Pages providing state employee salaries, annual reports and state expenditures are very popular,” Turner said.
Hoosiers can also visit the site and provide feedback on what should be included on the transparency portal.
“We are always looking to improve the content based on demand,” Hershman said.
Hershman said the transparency portal is the result of combined efforts by multiple agencies, including the Indiana Auditor of State; Office of Management and Budget; Office of Technology; Department of Administration; Department of Local Government Finance; State Board of Accounts; State Personnel Department; the Indiana Business Research Center; Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business; and multiple local units of government.