comptroller seal Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 3, 2016

Texas Comptroller Announces Launch of Program Recognizing Government Transparency

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today the launch of the Comptroller's Transparency Stars program, which commends local governments that achieve specific transparency goals. The agency will recognize government entities that provide easy online access not only to traditional financial data, but also to information regarding contracts and procurement, economic development, public pension plans and debt obligations.

"This office has always led the way in Texas' transparency efforts, but true transparency is constantly evolving, which is why we are shining a bright light on additional areas of local government debt and spending," Hegar said. "While our initial transparency programs have been hugely successful, I'm proud to recognize local governments bringing more transparency to Texas taxpayers."

In addition to pushing for greater access to a wider range of local information, the Comptroller's office will highlight government efforts to provide taxpayers with the tools necessary to better understand and analyze that information.

The Transparency Stars program has a streamlined application process and allows local governments to apply for recognition in up to five areas. After receiving an initial star for traditional financial transparency, local entities can go on to apply in other areas, for a total of five stars:

"With a basic smartphone, Texas taxpayers can access vast amounts of data, and it's time those data were made available at the local level," Hegar added. "By participating in this program, cities, counties and school districts can give Texas taxpayers the information they need to make informed decisions about local issues and increase taxpayer confidence in local governance."

For more information on the program, including guidelines and qualification criteria, visit the Comptroller's Transparency Stars website.

—30—