Jeffco sets standard on transparency

July 20th, 2009 by Amy Categories: health care, higher education No Responses
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COST wants to thank Jefferson County for being “one of only a handful of Colorado government entities to post line-item expense account charges, contracts and the county’s checkbook. All the information is in a searchable database available to anyone with access to the Web,” according to Charley Able from the Lakewood Edge

Jeffco’s Transparency Initiative sets the standard for government transparency in Colorado.  Procurement cards can be searched by date, vendor, category, description, cardholder, authorizer, and amount. Want to know how much the Sheriff’s Office spends on hay for horses?  Look it up!  It’s available; as is the amount that Commissioner Faye Griffin spent on airfare to a national conference.  COST is not making a judgement about these expenditures.  We are just thrilled that they are available for all taxpayers to see.   It’s simply good government.

Able quotes County Administrator Jim Moore who echoes something that COST and transparency advocates have been saying for more than a year, transparency in government promotes efficiency: “ People are going to see things we don’t see, people who have a different perspective and people who are critical of how we do things. That’s going to lead to improvements and better cheaper, faster ways of doing things.”

It’s refreshing to see stewards of taxpayer dollars embracing transparency rather than being defensive about how they are spending our money.  The next time a local government tells COST that transparency is too expensive, we’ll point to Jeffco.

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