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Florida Receives Top Marks for Transparency in Government Spending


Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413–2842
~CFO Jeff Atwater’s Transparency Florida website used for grading~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), released its annual Following the Money report that puts state governments’ access to spending information to the test. The nation’s 50 states are ranked from top to bottom based on how much information they publicly provide about state spending and how easily such information is to understand and obtain. For the fourth year in a row, Florida received an “A” grade and was ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
When CFO Atwater assumed this office in 2011, Florida had a low “D” grade and was ranked 36th in the nation. However, Florida’s grade has continued to improve with each year CFO Atwater has been in office because of his commitment to transparency. This year, Florida once again received a high grade and was ranked eighth in the nation.
CFO Atwater said, “When I took office in 2011, I was not satisfied with where we stood in these rankings. Just as every American taxpayer deserves the right to access information about how our federal government is spending tax dollars, so do Floridians. When I was first elected to this post, I committed to making Florida’s data more transparent, accountable and open. In 2012, I championed changes that led to the creation of the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS), which pulled back the curtains on state spending.
‘Through FACTS, Floridians have gained the ability to look at state contracts, to interactively view spending, and to learn precisely how their hard-earned dollars are used to support public programs, fund critical projects and improve the way Florida does business.  Since I made it my mission to improve in this area, Transparency Florida has been recognized as among the best websites in the nation, and we continue to explore opportunities to make even more information accessible to the people we serve.
‘Several states made significant strides this year to improve their scores, and I applaud them for their shared commitment to doing right by their constituencies. I’ll continue to work toward earning a perfect score, and I challenge all states to do the same.”
To view Transparency Florida’s website, click here.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, 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 businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).