PRESS RELEASE: Wisconsin earns high marks for OpenBook Wisconsin - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

PRESS RELEASE: Wisconsin earns high marks for OpenBook Wisconsin website




Today, the Department of Administration announces that the
Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) has given the OpenBook Wisconsin transparency website an "A-" in its Following the Money 2014 report, noting that Wisconsin saw the largest improvement of any state in the nation.

"It's important that State government is transparent about how it does business. On the OpenBook website, our taxpayers can see the money we spend and how we spend it," says DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch.

"We're proud of the work we've done to provide a level of financial openness that has never been done in Wisconsin's history."

The OpenBook Wisconsin website includes the operating expenditure data for state agencies, the legislature, the courts, and the University of Wisconsin System. It shows the amount paid for purchasing goods or services, travel,
and vendor payments.

Wisconsin was one of the leading states in the 2014 report, and WISPIRG notes that the states which received a score in the "A" range were "states leading in online spending transparency
[that] have created user-friendly websites that provide visitors with accessible information on an array of expenditures. Not only can ordinary citizens find information on specific vendor payments through easy-to-use search features, but experts and watchdog groups can
also download and analyze the entire checkbook dataset."

In addition, WISPIRG notes that Wisconsin "saw the largest improvement with an increase of 43 points when compared to the 2013 report. Last year, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Hawaii, California and North Dakota received an "F" ranking.

The OpenBook website data is updated every two weeks from the state's accounting system, and provides data detail similar to a credit card statement. The website database may be searched by vendor, expenditure categories, agency and fiscal year. As directed by law, the website does not include aids payments to individuals, organizations, and local assistance payments.

The data has been reviewed by software programs and personnel to help ensure that confidential information such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home telephone numbers of any employee will not be displayed on the website.


To check out the OpenBook website, click here.


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