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Kentucky Press News Service
FRANKFORT – Kentucky is once again rated as one of the best states for transparency and public accountability by a new national report.
Kentucky received an A- for its transparency website, www.opendoor.ky.gov, which allows citizens to review state government spending. Kentucky is considered one of seven top states in transparency, according to the newly released report: Following the Money 2013: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data.
The report is compiled by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, which conducts research and public education on behalf of consumers and the public interest, according to a news release from the governor's office.
“State government must be accountable to the citizens of Kentucky,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “It is imperative that we provide detailed information on how much state government spends on goods and services and with what companies or entities we are doing business. I am glad we are recognized as a leading state and have been since 2010.”
Beshear said OpenDoor is a bipartisan, multi-agency effort led by his administration to provide a more transparent, accountable state government and to allow viewers the opportunity to find out how tax dollars are being spent to improve Kentucky.
The Commonwealth received 92 out of 100 points possible. The other states in the “A” Category include Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Oklahoma.
The report evaluated such items as contracts, expenditures, grants, tax credits and off-budget agencies of each state.
The report praised Kentucky’s website for eliminating an estimated 40 percent of the administrative costs of procurement assistance requests, adding that Kentucky could reduce the costs associated with open records requests by as much as 10 percent.
“I’m proud that Kentucky remains a national model for online transparency, and we’re excited by the possibilities to improve our site by including more grant, tax and educational information,” Lori H. Flanery, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, said in a news release. “Just this year, we’ve included a citizen tax calculator and improved our open data resources to ensure that Kentucky remains strong.”