Governor Martin O'Malley joined Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy Kopp to make an announcement on specific government accountability and transparency actions by the General Assembly and the Board of Public Works moving forward. Governor O'Malley announced that beginning immediately, all Board of Public Works meetings will be broadcast live online. In addition, the General Assembly Presiding Officers announced specific measures for future legislative sessions that create greater accountability and transparency in Maryland's state government.
"We've been proud these last four years to usher in a new era of accountability and transparency to the Governor's office that has become a hallmark to our Administration," said Governor O'Malley. "Our goal from the beginning was to make government work again for the people it serves. As we continue to find new ways to make government more responsive and responsible, we're delivering on the promise of openness and transparency for the people of Maryland."
President Miller and Speaker Busch announced specific actions for the General Assembly, including live streaming of standing committee hearings through the General Assembly website. The Senate will broadcast live audio of committee hearings, and the House will broadcast live video. In addition, the General Assembly will waive the current fee for up-to-the-minute updates on bill status during legislative session, opening this function up to the general public at no charge. The Presiding Officers also reaffirmed their commitment to continue posting final roll call committee votes online.
"The internet is a powerful tool for promoting accountability in state government. Governor O'Malley and the legislature have embraced technology as a way to make government more open to the citizens of Maryland," said Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. "I want to thank Senator Nancy King for her efforts to build the public trust and increase transparency in the legislative process. "
"The voice of the public is the most important component in the legislative process," said Speaker Michael E. Busch. "By using technology to make information more accessible and available to the public, we are making it easier for Marylanders to participate in the work of the General Assembly and strengthening the work that we do in Annapolis."
The O'Malley-Brown Administration has championed openness and transparency in government, nationally recognized for its accountability and transparency tools that monitor investments made from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Maryland. In addition, tools employed through BayStat, GreenPrint, and StateStat place Maryland as the driving force behind some of the nation's most cutting edge technology used to inform the public about the resources and services available to our State. Just last week, Governor O'Malley unveiled the new Visit Maryland Interactive Map. This first-of-its-kind map portrays Maryland's uniquely rich collection of natural, cultural, heritage and recreational resources in a user-friendly searchable format.
Last year, as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly, Governor O'Malley launched the Maryland Funding Accountability website, a public site that allows citizens and visitors to search and view information on contracts of a certain amount between the state and private vendors.