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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2008

Transparency Innovations Win Honors for Texas Comptroller’s Office

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ Where the Money Goes Web site and other technological innovations to make state government more transparent and efficient have earned two 2008 Best of Texas awards from the Center for Digital Government.

Victor Gonzalez, Director of Innovation and Chief Technology Officer for the Comptroller of Public Accounts will receive the Visionary Award, given to “individuals with a vision of government made more accessible, more efficient, more open and more accountable through the use of technology.”

The award for Best Technology Solution Serving the Public goes to the Comptroller’s office for Where the Money Goes, a virtual check register providing details on state agency expenditures. The Web site has earned national recognition as the example of transparency for government at all levels to follow.

“I am very proud of Victor Gonzalez and my entire information technology team for their tireless efforts to use technology in innovative ways to make state government simpler, smarter, faster and, above all, more transparent,” Combs said.

The Visionary Award recognizes not only Gonzalez’s leadership in creating Where the Money Goes, but also his role in revamping the Comptroller’s Crude Oil and Natural Gas (CONG) tax system from a 1980s mainframe system with insufficient capacity and manual processes to a Web-based system that processes CONG accounts in near real time, with greater capacity. The system can now correct taxpayer errors as they occur, and saves taxpayer dollars on paper, printing, postage, computer maintenance and resources of all kinds. The award also recognizes Gonzalez’s membership on the Enterprise Resource Planning advisory council, a panel chaired by the Comptroller, engaged in a long range effort by state agencies to create a more cohesive system of data and technology throughout state government to speed state operations, improve customer service and save tax dollars.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focusing on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

The Best of Texas awards will be presented Oct. 14 in Austin.

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Find details on all the services of the Comptroller’s office at www.window.state.tx.us, including a transparent look at state spending at www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

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