Thursday, April 10, 2008

Transparency Update

HB5137 was introduced last August. It requires the state to put all expenditures on a searchable database. It has been sitting in the House Oversight Committee ever since. Yesterday, I moved to discharge the bill from the committee to the House floor. The motion passed. The floor leader immediately moved to send the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

The only reason (excuse) we have heard from House "leadership" and the Governor are that it costs too much to implement. In fact, the State Department of Information Technology, a department with a $37 million budget and over 1500 employees, sent a letter that says it could cost up to $150 million to implement this for Michigan Government! While DIT makes that outrageous claim:

  • Kansas and Missouri ( have done it within existing budget. No additional expense.
  • Google has written to each state informing them that they are willing to partner with governmental agencies to implement searchable database technology.
  • The Texas state comptroller has written in a letter to Americans for Tax Reform that her state has saved millions of dollars as a result of transparency implementation. They have found duplicate contracts and have consolidated functions or purchasing practices.
  • The federal government has offered their software, which was used to create a website for the $3 trillion budget, to the states as open source software, FREE OF CHARGE!

There can only be one explanation for the Governor and Dem leadership's refusal to move this bill, they are hiding millions of dollars in waste and mismanagement.

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