Good News: North Dakota’s Spending Transparency Website Is Now Online
After a hard-fought battle in the 2009 legislative session, which saw the bill creating this website passed only after it was attached to another bill in the last days of the session, North Dakota’s transparency website for state spending is finally online.
You can check it out here.
It was no small thing getting this website created, and the folks who pushed it in the legislature (particularly Rep. Blair Thoreson) deserve kudos for seeing it through. There is, unfortunately, a lot of hostility to transparency in our state political leadership. Even dominated by Republicans, which have support for transparency enshrined in their party platform, it’s difficult to get transparency legislation passed.
Earlier in the current session, a bill requiring local governments to submit their spending to this database as well was defeated soundly in the House with more Republicans than Democrats voting against it.
A sad commentary on the state of the Republican party in the state. But I digress.
This website will be a wonderful tool in this digital age. Everyone these days has a blog or a Facebook page or a Twitter account, and so almost anyone can be a reporter bringing to light interesting and pertinent facts about our government. In times past, when it came to matters of spending and taxes, for the most part we just had to take the government’s word for it. Or hope that some plucky journalist was keeping tabs. Few of us had the time or the resources to pour through the information ourselves.
Now the information is at our finger tips. That means a better informed electorate, and a government kept on its toes.
But only if you use it.Tags: blair thoreson, North Dakota News, transparency