Think of all the bonds for transportation, parks, universities and other government projects the states pass each election year. They always involve "drop in the bucket" tax increases and promise dazzling community enhancements. Do citizens really give these bonds another thought after voting for them? Most people lack time to navigate government bureaucracies. So California implemented its Bond Accountability Database in 2007, a GIS-based Web tool for citizens to track where the money goes from passed bonds and the status of the resulting projects.

"You can see whether the project is on time, on budget and within scope," said Bryan Cash, deputy assistant secretary for Bonds and Grants of the California Resources Agency.

The database - -came by an executive order from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"It's our responsibility to hold up our end of the bargain by being able to demonstrate to the people that we are spending the money they entrusted us to spend wisely," said H.D. Palmer, deputy director of External Affairs for the California Department of Finance (DoF).


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Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.