Statement from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Regarding Florida’s A-minus Grade for Transparency in PIRG’s Following the Money Report
Contact: Alexis Lambert
(850) 413-2842 TALLAHASSEE
– Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today released the following statement regarding U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (PIRG) 2013 Following the Money report
, which gave Florida a grade of A-minus for overall transparency based on the Department of Financial Services’ Transparency Florida
website. PIRG ranked Florida third in the nation for state government transparency. According to PIRG: “No state made a more dramatic improvement in its letter grade this year than Florida. The CFO’s site improved from a ‘D’ in last year’s report to an ‘A-minus’ this year.”
“Today our tireless efforts over the past two years to increase government transparency and accountability for Florida taxpayers have been recognized. Last year, we launched the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) making the state’s contracting practices transparent for the first time. We have maintained a commitment to improving Transparency Florida
by making it more user friendly along with linking to partner sites to provide more information about government spending in Florida. All of these efforts are driven by one objective— to make transparency an inherent part of government in Florida.
“The First Amendment clearly and unequivocally defines the limits of power. It does not simply guarantee the freedoms of religion, speech and peaceable assembly; it stakes out the moral ground that preserving these freedoms is the only way that overreaching government can be restrained from impeding the will of the people. Our search for greater accountability and transparency is not simply the search for new political dialogue; it is fully in the center of the founders’ desire to preserve and protect the will of the people being governed.
“We have worked hard to change the culture in Tallahassee by fostering an open government that promotes greater accountability and holds elected officials to a higher standard. This is the yardstick by which we measure the success of our transparency efforts on behalf of our fellow Floridians.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away capital; and ensuring transparency and accountability in spending.