Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (pictured) wrote an executive order to increase spending and revenue transparency.

Colorado's Transparency Online Project (TOP) -- that will open access to the state's spending and revenue records -- launched last week. Expenditures will be available by Sept. 1 and revenue by Jan. 1, 2010. Spending will be available as statewide totals by type, department and vendor name.

The TOP startup will cost about $70,000, primarily for computer hardware, servers and software, and about $25,000 in ongoing costs. Agencies under the governor are directed to participate and the legislative and judicial branches have said they will also participate.

The governor's executive order requires the Office of Information and Technology and the Office of the State Controller to establish a continuous improvement process, so that TOP will become a more useful tool over time.

Wayne Hanson  |  Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government