Texas Comptroller Susan Combs began to post the state's Comptroller's office expenditures online in January, 2007. Where the Money Goes Web site is an award-winning searchable database. The site includes detailed payment and spending information for all state agencies, according to a news report published on December 5, 2008.
This reform minded Republican is a breath of fresh air in Austin. "Combs' agency says it has saved $4.8 million and identified an additional $3.8 million in expected cost savings." "Now we are moving forward to apply some of those same transparency and 'buying smart' strategies that have been successful at our office to take an unprecedented look at Texas government spending. Our Smart Buy initiative e has already begun digging through what state agencies spend annually for goods and services."
Combs expects to save at least $28 million in Phase One of the Texas Smart Buy plan. Everything from overnight/express mail, outgoing mail machines, asphalt bidding for state roads, and fleet vehicles are being revamped for efficiency.
"Transparency leads to efficiency." Open Book Texas is a welcome addition to transparency in Texas government. This online service will also provide a transparency check-up section and a section called a Single Set of Books to provide a planning site for state agencies to standardize reporting financial information.
Sunlight Foundation published an article detailing the progress.