BY: KATELYN CAMPBELL, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLICY VISTA, THE HUB
In an understated announcement on the House Floor on Monday, Delegate Charlotte Lane announced a new tool created by the State Auditor’s office to give citizens a window into the way state agencies spend public money.
WV Checkbook provides real time updates on where West Virginians’ money is going. So, whether you want to know how much the Supreme Court paid for a polygraph test or how much was deposited into the state’s General Revenue Fund on any given day, the information you need is only a few clicks away.
Prior to the launch of the WV Checkbook site, there was a process to get access to information about the state’s transactions, but it was not particularly expedient. Reporters and concerned citizens would first have to identify the state agency that housed the information, then fill out a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, then make sure they sent it to the right person, then wait for their request to be answered.
Not only did this process take a lot of time, but it required you to know exactly what piece of information you were looking for. These two factors combined to discouraged the average citizen from regularly checking up on how their money is being spent, or even just exploring what different areas of state government are doing.
Now, citizens can be informed much more quickly about how our taxes are being utilized, making us more informed advocates and voters.
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