Chafee announces transparency initiative

GOV. LINCOLN D. CHAFEE has announced a new Transparency and Accountability Initiative.
Posted 1/10/13

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee has signed an executive order in support of a new Transparency and Accountability Initiative as part of the “continuing efforts to promote open and honest government in the state of Rhode Island,” the Office of the Governor announced Thursday.

According to a release, the goal of the initiative is to provide Rhode Islanders with an increased level of information regarding the operation and management of the state’s government and to ensure the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

Beginning today, the Rhode Island public will have access to a number of documents on the R.I. state government Transparency Portal. During the next 18 months, the state will continue to add financial reports, audits, forms as well as contracts, grants and quasi-public agency expenditures to the portal.

“The people of Rhode Island deserve more and better information about the operation and management of their government,” said Chafee in a statement.

“This initiative will be a dynamic framework to increase the amount of information available for public review, improve the quality of information readily available to constituents, and ensure the accountability of public servants,” added Chafee. “I believe that greater openness and transparency will ultimately strengthen our citizens’ faith in their government, bolster our national reputation, and increase our economic competitiveness.”

Executive Order 13-01 contained the following:

  1. In order to support the Initiative’s mission to expand the information about state government that is available online, state agencies, over the course of the next eighteen (18) months (on a rolling basis), will collaborate to post a greater breadth of information online and make such information easier to find, including, but not limited to:

    • Financial Reports, Audits, Forms, and Other Financial Information

    • Contracts, Grants and Quasi-Public Agency Expenditures

  2. In order to support the Initiative’s mission to improve the ability to search online information about state government, the Division of Information Technology and the Office of Digital Excellence, working in conjunction with state agencies over the course of the next eighteen (18) months (on a rolling basis), will:

    • Design and Implement a Central Online Portal to Facilitate Public Data Access

    • Increase Availability and Accessibility of Searchable Public Data

  3. In order to support the Initiative’s mission to establish measurable goals for state agencies and monitor their progress, the Office of Management and Budget, working through its Office of Performance Management, will:

    • Design Comprehensive Project Management Goals

    • Ensure the Adoption of Measurable Performance Goals

    • Compile and Monitor Goals, and Report Progress Periodically Online

“The governor’s commitment to transparency and accountability reforms is impressive, and we applaud the recently announced initiatives,” Nathaniel Heller, executive director of Global Integrity, said in prepared remarks. “They represent tangible, concrete efforts to advance the open government agenda in Rhode Island and will provide a solid foundation upon which additional cutting-edge open government reforms can be built.

“We look forward to working with Governor Chafee and his administration to deepen these initial efforts so that Rhode Island can serve as a model of open and transparent government around the country,” added Heller.

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