Gov. Steve Beshear's groundbreaking e-transparency website, Open Door, has once again received top honors as a comprehensive, searchable portal that enables taxpayers to explore how government money is being spent. For the second year in a row, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest advocacy organization, has recognized the site, online at www.OpenDoor.KY.gov, as a leader in setting the standard for spending transparency on government expenditures.
I'm very proud of my administration's efforts to make government more accountable and transparent to the people, Gov. Beshear said. Given our nation's difficult economy, citizens deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent and we created Open Door to give them such access. We remain committed to this high standard of open government and are proud that we may serve as an example to other states.
In U.S. PIRG's, Following the Money 2011 report, Kentucky and Texas share the honor of scoring 96 out of a possible 100 points, receiving the report's highest ranking for states offering broad and detailed spending information. Kentucky also topped the ratings in 2010 and retained the honor again this year in spite of the use of more rigorous scoring criteria.
The report called Kentucky a pioneer that has taken strides to remain at the head of the pack. The website now posts a database of government-owned land parcels, and GIS and customizable maps for demographic data.
Shortly after taking office, Gov. Beshear issued an Executive Order in the spring of 2008 to establish the e-Transparency Task Force; a 14-member bipartisan panel charged with providing a more transparent and accountable state government. On Jan. 1, 2009, Kentucky's Open Door was launched after a concerted, multi-agency effort, led by officials of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.