by Andrew Crisp
The folks over at governing.com have released a comparison of the nation's 50 states' levels of transparency, or lack thereof. Idaho, along with six other states, received an 'F' grade for its online offerings of its spending data.
While the Gem State is one of many that receive more federal dollars than they provide to D.C., the state lags behind in online reporting of just how it spends that money.
While federal transparency in the wake of the reporting requirements of the controversial American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—what we call the stimulus—has increased dramatically, says the report, Republicans and Democrats differ on the legacy of the spending, and the amount of state participation in reporting.
"Meanwhile, state sites need work, too," writes Ryan Holeywell from governing.com. "One of the biggest flaws is that many of them lack timely numbers and the ability for citizens to download the data so that they can crunch the numbers on their own. 'People want to be able to manipulate and touch the data in their own ways,' says McMurray of Sunshine Review."
The article states that much of the expenditure reporting as a requirement of the ARRA has increased transparency in some state governments. Idaho, on the other hand, is one of a handful of states dragging its feet on reform that would put government data in the hands of its citizens.