CFO Alex Sink Unveils 'Florida's Checkbook', Adds New Level of Transparency in Government Spending
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2009
Contact: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate (850) 413-2842
CFO ALEX SINK UNVEILS ‘FLORIDA’S CHECKBOOK’, ADDS NEW LEVEL OF TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today launched Florida’s Checkbook, a Web site that allows Florida taxpayers to view the tools CFO Sink has unveiled to increase transparency and accountability for government spending in one easy-to-find location.
At MyFloridaCFO.com/Transparency, citizens will be able to view information such as finance reports, fund balances, state and local receipts and disbursements, and contracts in an ongoing effort to increase accountability and openness when it comes to how Floridians’ tax dollars are being spent.
“Over the last two years, we’ve knocked down many of the barriers preventing taxpayers from knowing how their money is being spent, and worked to bring Florida’s finances into the sunshine,” said CFO Sink. “With the launch of Florida’s Checkbook, we’re taking government accountability and transparency to a new level, ensuring that every taxpayer has ready access to demand fiscal accountability.”
Also today, CFO Sink unveiled the latest transparency tool featured on Florida’s Checkbook, her new Florida Financials Web site. Florida Financials gives citizens the ability to see exactly how tax dollars are coming in, going out and how much the state has left. Floridians are able to look at trends over time in numerous graphs, and drill down to the details with year-by-year charts showing Florida’s cash flow and balances.
Other tools Florida’s Checkbook features include: Sunshine Spending, launched earlier this year with Governor Crist, which shows which government contractors are receiving tax dollars; My Local Government Dollars and Cents, which provides revenue and disbursement information for cities and counties; and the Department of Financial Services Contract Search, which shows every Department contract online in a searchable form.
“Having this kind of detailed financial information on the spending of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is critical to enhancing citizen understanding, civic engagement, and taxpayer value. The checks and balances that ensure good government are for naught if taxpayers are not informed and engaged in the spending of their money,” said Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute and government watchdog for taxpayers.
All sites on Florida’s Checkbook were created using existing resources, with no additional tax dollars spent to create or maintain them. Tools like Florida Financials and Sunshine Spending are updated nightly by Department employees, giving Floridians access to the most up-to-date information possible.