Ritter's Executive Order

April 2nd, 2009 by Amy

 

D 007 09

 

EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

Establishing the Colorado Transparency Online Project

 

Pursuant to the authority vested in the Office of the Governor of the State of Colorado and, in particular, pursuant to Article IV, section 2, of the Colorado Constitution, I, Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order directing the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (“OIT”), in consultation with the Department of Personnel & Administration (“DPA”), to create and maintain the Colorado Transparency Online Project (“TOP”) system, a statewide searchable database system of the state’s revenues and disbursements.

 

  1. Background and Need

 

Transparency and accountability to state citizens is a hallmark of good government. The Open Meetings Act and the Colorado Open Records Act provide Colorado’s citizens with a strong expectation of accountability by providing open access to the state’s public records and meetings. The advent of the internet provides new opportunities for state government to foster transparency and accountability.

 

This Executive Order continues and expands the State of Colorado’s strong commitment to an open and transparent relationship between Colorado’s citizens and their government by providing citizens with easier access to information regarding state spending. This order directs OIT, in collaboration with the Office of the State Controller (“OSC”) within DPA, to establish the TOP system, a free, searchable, web-based system providing access to descriptions of the state’s revenues and expenditures. This interface, while providing adequate protection for privacy, safety, and security concerns, will enable citizens to review the state’s revenues and expenditures and foster accountability and transparency.

 

 

  1. Directives

 

  1.  
    1. The Governor’s Office of Information Technology (“OIT”), working with the OSC within DPA, is hereby directed to develop and maintain the TOP system, a searchable web-based system providing access to descriptions of revenues and expenditures recorded in the state’s official book of record. To ensure integrity of state records, TOP shall provide access only to a copy of relevant data and shall be maintained separately from the state accounting system. The system should be accessible without charge.

 

  1.  
    1. DPA, via the OSC, shall develop policies and procedures to ensure that the system meets, at a minimum, the following criteria:

 

  1.  
    1.  
      1. Data shall be made available in compliance with state and federal law.

 

  1.  
    1.  
      1. The TOP system shall provide information about state revenues and expenditures at a level of detail that enables accountability and transparency. Where access to each individual transaction is likely to hinder, rather than foster, this goal, the system may provide access to aggregated information.

 

  1.  
    1.  
      1. The privacy, safety, and security of state citizens and vendors shall be adequately protected. The TOP system policies shall, at a minimum, ensure that data associated with sensitive programs are excluded or otherwise protected from inappropriate exposure.

 

  1.  
    1.  
      1. To ensure that decisions regarding privacy, safety, security, and compliance with state and federal law are made by those most familiar with the relevant data and programs, OSC’s policies shall require each department, agency or institution of higher education to determine what information shall be excluded from the TOP system or presented only in aggregate form. To the extent that the state accounting system includes data from the judicial and legislative branches, OSC policies shall provide a mechanism for coordinating with the executive administrator of each branch to determine the appropriate mechanism for including such data in TOP. The State Controller shall coordinate review of such decisions in coordination with the Director of OIT and the Director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, or their delegates. The State Treasurer shall be invited to participate in these review decisions.

 

  1.  
    1. OIT shall be responsible for the technical development of the web-based system and shall put in place policies and mechanisms to ensure the security of the system.

 

  1.  
    1. The TOP system shall be operable and generally available by January 1, 2010. Expenditure records shall be generally available by September 1, 2009.

 

  1.  
    1. The system shall be developed in a manner that protects and respects citizen and vendor privacy, safety, and security.

 

  1.  
    1. OIT and DPA, via the OSC, shall establish a continuous improvement process to improve the accessibility and usability of the TOP system.

 

 

 

Duration

 

This Executive Order shall continue in existence until either terminated or extended by Executive Order of the Governor.

 

 

 

GIVEN under my hand and the

Executive Seal of the State of

Colorado, this ­­­2nd day of April,

2009.

 

 

 

Bill Ritter, Jr.

Governor