Sign up for the Open Government eNewsletter
We warmly welcome your thoughts on og-blog and especially welcome your emails with suggested postings and links to interesting stories and court cases. If you have something to say about open government in Washington State, sending it to og-blog is probably the best way to get it out. Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Sunday, December 23, 2007

TNT Op-Ed on Gov't Spending Searchable Database

This op-ed piece in the Tacoma News-Tribune describes how the federal government is creating a searchable database for citizens to find out how their money is being spent. The article is by Jason Mercier of the Seattle-based Washington Policy Center, a think tank doing phenomenal work on government accountability and many other public policy topics.

A searchable government spending database is a very doable project. The state of Florida partnered with Google to create one. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has indicated a willingness to partner with states to do the same. Hawaii, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, South Carolina, Missouri and Texas are currently considering a searchable database. The federal project was sponsored by senators at opposite ends of the political spectrum: Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). It passed unanimously in Congress. This is not a controversial issue. Not even close.

If a government official in Washington state says we don't need this or it's too hard to do, they have something to hide in that database.