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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

Contact: Allen Spelce or R.J. DeSilva
512-463-4070

For Immediate Release
October 3, 2007

Texas Comptroller Launches New State Spending Database
Texans Can Get Even More Information on Where Their Money Goes


AUSTIN — The Comptroller of Public Accounts has taken another major step in the state’s leading efforts on transparency in state government. A new, comprehensive online database has detailed information on payment and spending by all state agencies and institutions of higher education. The database is a result of legislation passed this year to make Texas one of the first states to officially require online information and tools for the public to examine state spending in specific details.

“I am proud our state lawmakers helped broaden an important initiative that taxpayers deserve,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “During my first few days in office, I began the process of posting state agencies’ expenditures on our Web site. This new window into state finances gives taxpayers an even more detailed look at who gets their money and how much.”

The Web site serves anyone with Internet access — vendors, the media, interested citizens and state agencies. Interactive search tools allow public access to various levels of state expenditure details, going all the way down to the payment transaction level. The information includes:

  • Transaction amounts and dates
  • Name of the agency making the payment
  • Name of payees (company or government unit)
  • Object category for the payments under the Uniform Statewide Accounting System
  • Purchasing classification

Transaction-level data will be available for expenditures starting on and after Sept. 1, 2007 (Fiscal 2008). Summary-level data showing broad spending categories back to Fiscal 2001, which is already available on the Comptroller’s Web site, will be transferred to this new database.

Under House Bill 3430, authored by state Rep. Mark Strama and sponsored by state Sen. Glenn Hegar, public access to certain confidential information, such as addresses, is limited. All of the nearly 200 state agencies and institutions of higher education must include a link to the database on their Web sites. Furthermore, the database will automatically refresh at the end of each day, so the public can get the most up-to-date information.

“Texas leads the charge on transparency to let taxpayers know how their money gets spent,” Combs said. “This new database offers another great example of that commitment, as Texans have access to a clear and specific view of government financial information.”

The new online state expenditure database can be found at the Where the Money Goes link on the Comptroller’s office Web site: www.window.state.tx.us.

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