Press Release: Auditor candidate calls for transparency portal

Kevin Easton, one of three Democrats running for the party nomination to the Monroe County Auditor seat, on Monday called for the county to develop a transparency portal.

“Complete transparency should be the goal,” Easton said in a press release. “Accountability begins with transparency. If the county is building a sidewalk in front of your house, you should be able to pull out your smartphone and clearly see who has the contract, how much it is for, when it is scheduled to be complete, what fund the money is coming from, etc.”

Easton said the portal, which would be similar to that already put in place by other states and local government should include money coming in and out broken down by fund, contracts awarded, payment claims and other pertinent information.

Other local governments use different approaches to achieve the goal. Some, such as the state of Indiana, have developed portals in-house, while others use third party software or cloud based services such as OpenGov.

Each is designed to give the taxpayer instant access to data.

“There is no need for us to reinvent the wheel on this or build something from scratch unless that really proves to be the best way forward,” Easton said in his statement. “There are a lot of good products out there already such as OpenGov that are doing exactly what we need. Opening up the county checkbook has lots of benefits, and Monroe County does not want to fall behind on this. We should be embracing innovation in the Auditor’s office. We can be a leader and shining example in the state on this.”