The landscape for financial transparency has changed. Taxpayers are demanding more, be it in the form of downloadable datasets, new visual representations of information or even simple bulleted lists of key figures. Increased transparency through these means allows taxpayers to understand public services and spending decisions to a greater extent than ever before.
Follow the guidelines below and add the required documentation to your entity's website to qualify for a Traditional Finances Transparency Star. To apply for any of the other four Transparency Stars (Contracts and Procurement, Economic Development, Public Pensions or Debt Obligations), your entity must first receive the Traditional Finances Transparency Star.
Your entity should post to the Web a summary and narrative overview including the following items for the most recently completed fiscal year, as well as explanations of terminology:
You may wish to include additional pieces of data that provide context reflective of standards or conventions particular to your entity type. You may use the optional Traditional Finances Summary Form (PDF) to complete the Summary section.
Post data visualizations to your transparency page showing the following:
You may wish to include explanations or subsets of these trends in the visualizations, or post additional visualizations that provide context reflective of standards or conventions particular to your entity type. See the sidebar for templates you may choose to use to create required visualizations. The visualizations must be posted on the page itself and must be — like all the required information on the transparency page or section — easy to view and to interpret.
Post the following documents for easy download:
Make the following available for download in a tabular or spreadsheet format to aid in researching your entity's finances:
Raw format budget for the current fiscal year.
Raw format budget should meet the following requirements:
Raw format check registers for three complete fiscal years.
At least three fiscal years of consecutive check registers ending with the most current (no older than 90 days) check register are required. The Comptroller's office also recommends consolidating older check registers by fiscal year to simplify the posts.
Raw format check registers should meet the following requirements:
See our FAQ for tips on posting your check registers.
Your transparency site should also include the following:
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.