Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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governmentTransparency Stars Revisited

Comptroller’s Government Transparency Program Adds New Award Category

May 2024 | Lisa Minton

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Comptroller Glenn Hegar presents the Open Government and Compliance Transparency Star to representatives of Tarrant Regional Water District in March. The new star category debuted earlier this year.

Transparency fosters accountability and provides information not only on the taxes and fees collected by government but also on how government spends that money. A 2023 report by CivicPlus, a government technology company, indicates more than 82 percent of the 16,000 residents surveyed nationwide consider local government transparency essential.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar promotes transparency at both the state and local levels, working with local governments to develop resources that provide easy access to information on their revenue, spending, debt and other areas of public finance.

One initiative that encourages openness in local governments is the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars program, which recognizes Texas cities, counties, school districts, community colleges and special purpose districts that provide online access to their financial documents and data.

Participating local governments may earn up to six stars — one star for each of the following categories:

  • Traditional Finances.
  • Contracts and Procurement.
  • Economic Development.
  • Public Pensions.
  • Debt Obligations.
  • Open Government and Compliance.

The sixth star for Open Government and Compliance debuted earlier this year, and five entities have received this recognition to date — Tarrant Regional Water District, Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2, City of McKinney, City of Jersey Village and City of Gainesville. From the inception of the Transparency Stars initiative in 2016 through May 30, 2024, the Comptroller has recognized 222 local governments and awarded 437 stars.

Transparency Stars Awarded, by Category and Local Entity
Local Government Traditional Finances Contracts and Procurement Economic Development Public Pensions Debt Obligations Open Government and Compliance Total
Cities and Towns 87 17 16 35 46 3 203
School Districts 95 11 0 1 46 0 153
Counties 15 3 2 7 8 0 35
Special Districts 21 3 1 4 10 2 41
Community Colleges 2 0 1 0 1 0 4
Total 220 34 20 47 111 5 437

Note: Data from inception of program in 2016 through May 30, 2024
Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Data Analysis and Transparency Division

Learn about the newest Transparency Star and updates to the program.