January 8, 2009 By News Report
Photo: Annapolis, Md.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday announced the launch of a new state Web site aimed at providing public accountability for state spending. The Web site, created and maintained entirely with Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) resources and staff, provides a searchable format which displays state payment data, capturing the name of the payee receiving payment, location of the payee by ZIP code, amount of the payment and the name of the state agency making the payment.
"This new tool will allow the public to see first-hand where tax dollars are spent, ushering in a new era of government accountability and transparency to Annapolis that has become a hallmark of our administration," said O'Malley. "Our goal from the beginning was to make government work again for the people it serves, and this important Web site serves as another step toward that end."
The Maryland Funding Accountability Web site is a public site which allows citizens of Maryland and visitors to search and view summary information on payments made to vendors that received $25,000 or more for the respective fiscal year. Currently, information contained on the site is for Fiscal Year 2008, which began July 1, 2007 and ends June 30, 2008.
"The new funding accountability and transparency Web site provided the Department of Information Technology with an opportunity to support one of Governor O'Malley's priorities to restore fiscal responsibility to state government," said Elliot Schlanger, Maryland secretary of information technology. "The Web site, which was developed with internal resources, serves as a view into the state's 'check register' to allow constituents the ability to see how their dollars are being spent. DoIT has crafted the Web site to be easy-to-use and intuitively navigable."
The Web site was originally created by House Bill 358 in the 2008 legislative session and applies to all units of the Executive branch.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.