Civic Transparency

An interesting article on KTAR discusses how some Arizona cities are working to comply with a new law regarding transparency in how they spend their money. The article, entitled “Arizona Cities Face New Rules in Civic Transparency”, details how some local communities have created or are working to create websites to make this information available to the public. The law was passed in 2010 and requires cities with populations greater than 2500 to post a record of expenditures over $5000 online. Cities can either choose to launch their own spending transparency database or post their comprehensive financial annual report (CAFR) online. You can read the text of the law here. In their efforts to comply with the new law, the city of Glendale has a website called Follow Your Money that allows users to research expenditures down to individual transactions. Surprise has a similar database of transactions for their community called It’sYOUR Money.  Phoenix is working to create its own online transparency database, but also currently makes available its CAFR online.  Maricopa County just released Maricopa County OpenBooks while the State of Arizona created Arizona OpenBooks as county governments and the State of Arizona must also comply with the new law.

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