Front and Center

Following the Money: Evaluating Budget Transparency in State Government


The ability to see how government uses the public purse is fundamental to democracy. State governments across the country have made their checkbooks transparent by creating online transparency portals – government-operated websites that allow visitors to see who receives state money and for what purposes.

Following the Money 2014, our fifth annual ranking of states' progress toward online spending transparency, documents the progress states have made in the past year in empowering citizens to track state spending, and presents examples of the many ways in which improved transparency is making state governments more efficient and effective. The report also highlights the new tools used by pioneering states to improve public understanding of previously obscure forms of government spending, such as expenditures on economic development agencies and spending by quasi-public agencies.

See coverage of the report at the Washington Post's GovBeat blog here. (April 2014) (Photo: