Mississippi passes transparency law
Mississippi residents soon will be able to access the state’s accounting books online. The Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act, signed into law on April 14, requires the state’s Department of Finance and Administration to create a searchable Web site containing information on the use of state funds and bond proceeds.
The act makes Mississippi the latest state to join the “Google Government,” said Kristina Rasmussen, director of government affairs for the Alexandria, Va.-based National Taxpayers Union. “Access to this information will improve the efficiency of government and greatly benefit the state in the long run,” she said in a statement.
Mississippi’s bill is based on federal legislation passed last year that requires the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to put information on federal grant and contract disbursements on the Web. Rasmussen praised Mississippi lawmakers for requiring that the state’s Web site feature user-friendly search functions. “Some states simply have chosen to put lists of information on their Web sites,” she said. “While that’s a start, these databases really go to work for taxpayers when visitors can search by keyword. Mississippi residents will soon be able to ‘Google’ their government just like any other Internet search.”
More information is available at http://www.ntu.org/main/list_press.php?PressTypeID=1.