Georgia is given a score of “C” — based on a numerical score of 74 out of 100 — earning a ranking of 42rd among state governments for providing public access to spending information, according to a report issued by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund. PIRG is a 501(c)(3) organization promotes good government.
Government spending transparency is improving, but many states still lag far behind, according to “Following the Money 2016: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the sixth annual report of its kind by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Some states have improved their spending transparency web portals significantly, earning perfect scores in this year’s report, while others are still barely achieving the minimum standards.
State governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year through contracts for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, and other expenditures. Public accountability helps ensure that state funds are spent as wisely as possible.
State-operated spending transparency websites provide checkbook-level detail on government spending, allowing citizens and watchdog groups to view payments made to individual companies, the goods or services purchased, and the benefits obtained in exchange for public subsidies.
All 50 states operate websites to make information on state expenditures accessible to the public, and in the past year these web portals continued to improve. For instance, all but four states provide checkbook-level data for one or more economic development subsidy programs and more than half of states make that subsidy data available for researchers to download and analyze.
For more information on this study, see: http://uspirgedfund.org/reports/usf/following-money-2016
To download the report, go to: http://uspirgedfund.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/USP%20FollowMoney16%20Report%20Apr16.pdf