But most impressive is what Colorado’s largest school district Jeffco Public Schools has provided for taxpayers on its financial transparency Web page. Interested taxpayers set the date parameters, and then search Jeffco expenditures by vendor, account number, fund or department number. The search results can be easily downloaded into an individual xcel file. For instance, in just a matter of minutes COST determined that Jeffco spent $313,199.46 on meals/refreshments from July 1 to December 31, 2009. It’s not up to COST to make a judgement on those expenditures. That is the responsibility of Jeffco taxpayers.
We will however make a judgement on Jeffco’s transparency Web site, and we have yet to find a better one in the country. COST believes Jeffco is on the cutting edge of transparency. We encourage other school districts to take Jeffco’s lead and provide the same type of detailed financial transparency.
The state of Colorado should take lessons as well. Governor Bill Ritter’s transparency Web site TOP is an embarrassment.