Kentucky’s new OpenDoor – Kentucky’s Portal to eTransparency is really more of a look at something in the distance on a foggy morning than a transparent window.
The site give totals, big annual totals, but no detail, and the devil is in the detail.
In 2007 the Health & Family Services Cabinet, Department for Community Based Services, spent $1,637,352.02 for supplies with a state procurement card. Procurement cards are credit cards used by state agencies.
But what did they spend the money for? If you don’t think this is important look at the guys at the Blue Grass Airport.
Four officials at the Blue Grass Airport have charged a combined $332,000 to their airport credit cards for expenses ranging from Hannah Montana tickets to video games and golf lessons.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Sunday the charges were accrued during the last three years. Each of the three men earned annual salaries more than $135,000.
Charges also included tickets to sporting events, a visit to a strip club and other trips across the country. Airport credit cards were also used to by Christmas presents for co-workers, gasoline, dry-cleaning, car washes and meals at various local restaurants.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the $1,637,352.02 spent by Community Based Services, but how do you know unless you can see the detail? And yes the detail is on computers at the state and has been for years, it's a component of the state accounting system.
And we need more detail in other areas such as overtime payments at the Kentucky State Fair Board. Why was there a need for the Board to pay $325,515.88 in overtime in 2007? Who got the money?
And a personal favorite of mine, (remember the guys at Blue Grass Airport) out of state travel. Why did the Kentucky Department of Revenue spend over $400,000.00 in both 2007 and 2008 travelling out of state?
Who went where, why did they go, and why was it necessary for taxpayers to pay for the travel.
This site is a good first step, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. We need a lot more detail. The information is available, a lot already in digital format.