Idaho Launches Budget Transparency Portal

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Idaho has launched a budget transparency portal through the state controller’s office. Idaho tapped OpenGov to provide the technology for the portal.

OpenGov already works with a handful of Idaho cities and organizations on similar transparency portals including Meridian, Sandpoint, Post Falls, Lewiston, and The Capital City Development Corporation.

Transparent Idaho, the new portal, is an upgraded version of a statewide budget transparency effort first launched in 2012. The portal includes improved data search and visualization as well as social sharing capabilities. The refreshed site also includes a move away from static PDFs and toward more usable forms of data that are readily available for analysis and visualization.

Idaho doesn’t specifically require that state agencies contribute open data to statewide portals like Transparent Idaho. But, officials in the controller’s office say the goal is to “encourage” agencies and offices to provide data. So far, the portal includes datasets on employee pay, vendor payments, and annual budget reports.

The controller’s office has put out a call to other state agencies to help build data partnerships and provide more information to the public about government spending and other activities.

“Every dollar spent by any state entity is the citizen’s money – we must never forget that. This effort is critical to our efforts to provide a clear vision of state spending for all Idahoans while providing the most value out of every taxpayer dollar,” said Idaho Controller Brandon Woolf in a statement.

As CivSource previously reported, OpenGov recently announced an agreement with Workiva to add more horsepower to its open budget platform. The relationship partners OpenGov Budget Builder and OpenGov Intelligence with Workiva’s Wdesk, which provides governments the ability to link their data into a centralized repository and create reports.

Several other cities and states have launched budget transparency portals in recent years in an effort to help the public understand where their tax money goes. Budget portals are part of an expanded understanding on the part of state and local governments about how data can be used to improve decision making and restore public trust.

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