Mass. Officials Put State's 'Checkbook' Online

Massachusetts residents who want to find out where their tax dollars go will now have an easier time rummaging through the state's checkbook.

Top officials unveiled a new website Monday to help the public track state spending.

The "Open Checkbook" website lets the public look up salaries of state workers, see how much the state is spending on individual contracts with private vendors, and compare budgets of different state agencies.

Officials warn that the website is still a work in progress.

Some data — including budget and spending information for Massport, the MBTA and quasi-public agencies — have yet to be uploaded.

The website doesn't include budget information from cities and towns.

Officials say they hope the site will help residents better understand how the state spends money. Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez says the database will make Massachusetts one of the most transparent states in terms of its expenses.

"It's gonna allow the public to understand state spending information at a level that they haven't before, and to engage with us in a much more informed way about how taxpayer money is being used," Gonzalez said.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on December 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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