Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs held a press conference discussing her government transparency initiatives yesterday.  Take a look at Open Book Texas, which not only provides access to her spending transparency portal, but also to Texas Transparency Check-Up with lots of useful tips and links on transparency, Texas Smart Buy, a new online ordering system for agencies, and the Single Set of Books Initiative, an effort to get to a uniform financial accounting system.

In her speech, Comptroller Combs made an excellent case (talking from her own experience) for the usefulness of transparency not only from a taxpayers perspective, but also from an agency point of view:

But besides the public having access to information, we discovered our emphasis on transparency had internal benefits in that it made our own operations transparent to us. This provided access to such detailed, centralized and easily navigable information about our budget and expenditures, which allowed us to identify redundancies, inefficiencies and other areas for improvement with a clarity that was simply not possible before.

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