annual expense account.

"We are very aware of when City Council expenses show up on our report," said Councilman David Roy, adding that there is an ongoing dialog about what set amount each council member should have for his or her expenses. "There are limits on what we can spend money on ... commonsense sort of things. No personal items, etc."

The Fort Collins City Council uses Microsoft Excel files created by the city manager's office, which are in turn provided to the IT department for posting. IT staff converts the files to Acrobat portable document format, which are then published monthly on the Web site.

Though the Honolulu site only publishes reports from the current fiscal year, Fort Collins maintains an archive of information on its site. There are more than 70 pages of expense reports dating back to April 2002 for the council as a whole, in addition to individual member expenditures, available on the city's Web site.

Surprisingly the hits to the Web site only range between 10 and 28 per month. The average request is 18.8 per month, with a median of 17. Although the Fort Collins Web site feature is not as popular as Honolulu's, the council remains committed to offering the information.

With the decision to publish individual expense account information on the Web, elected officials in Colorado and Hawaii are making great strides in the battle for public confidence.

Leslie Friesen  |  Contributing Writer