In his continuing efforts to promote open and honest government in the State of Rhode Island, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced a new Transparency and Accountability Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to provide the public with an increased level of information regarding the operation and management of government, as well as ensuring the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Beginning today, Rhode Islanders will have access to a number of documents that have already been uploaded to the Rhode Island state government Transparency Portal (www.transparency.ri.gov). Over the next 18 months (on a rolling basis), the state will continue to add financial reports, audits, forms, and other financial information such as contracts, grants and quasi-public agency expenditures.
"The people of Rhode Island deserve more and better information about the operation and management of their government," said Governor Chafee. "This initiative will be a dynamic framework to increase the amount of information available for public review, improve the quality of information readily available to constituents, and ensure the accountability of public servants. I believe that greater openness and transparency will ultimately strengthen our citizens' faith in their government, bolster our national reputation, and increase our economic competitiveness."
Governor Chafee also signed Executive Order 13-01, containing the following:
1. In order to support the Initiative's mission to expand the information about state government that is available online, state agencies, over the course of the next eighteen (18) months (on a rolling basis), will collaborate to post a greater breadth of information online and make such information easier to find, including, but not limited to:
· Financial Reports, Audits, Forms, and Other Financial Information
· Contracts, Grants and Quasi-Public Agency Expenditures
2. In order to support the Initiative's mission to improve the ability to search online information about state government, the Division of Information Technology and the Office of Digital Excellence, working in conjunction with state agencies over the course of the next eighteen (18) months (on a rolling basis), will:
· Design and Implement a Central Online Portal to Facilitate Public Data Access
· Increase Availability and Accessibility of Searchable Public Data
3. In order to support the Initiative's mission to establish measurable goals for state agencies and monitor their progress, the Office of Management and Budget, working through its Office of Performance Management, will:
· Design Comprehensive Project Management Goals
· Ensure the Adoption of Measurable Performance Goals
· Compile and Monitor Goals, and Report Progress Periodically Online
"The focused attention of a governor is among the valuable assets a state can have in addressing government reform and giving citizens the information they need to hold government accountable," said Laurenellen McCann, National Policy Manager for the Sunlight Foundation. "The Sunlight Foundation is happy to be working with Governor Chafee and others as they launch this new effort to open Rhode Island's government."
"The Governor's commitment to transparency and accountability reforms is impressive, and we applaud the recently announced initiatives," said Nathaniel Heller, Executive Director of Global Integrity. "They represent tangible, concrete efforts to advance the open government agenda in Rhode Island and will provide a solid foundation upon which additional cutting-edge open government reforms can be built. We look forward to working with Governor Chafee and his administration to deepen these initial efforts so that Rhode Island can serve as a model of open and transparent government around the country."