Photo: Texas Comptroller Susan Combs

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says transparency initiatives have allowed the state to tighten its belt by shedding light on potential savings. On Wednesday, Combs introduced "Open Book Texas," a three-part effort to ensure tax dollars go farther in challenging economic times. The three projects include Texas Smart Buy, the Texas Transparency Check-Up Web site and the Single Set of Books initiative.

"It is clear that we have entered an era of great economic uncertainty, and government must make the most of every dollar, just like millions of working families," Combs said. "Texans deserve to know their tax dollars are being used wisely. Families are cutting expenses and looking for ways to save. Government must do the same."

In January 2007, Combs began posting Comptroller's office expenditures online --- down to the cost of pencils. The searchable database on the Comptroller's award-winning Where the Money Goes Web site now includes detailed payment and spending information for all state agencies.

"Where the Money Goes provides transparency to taxpayers, and we discovered that our emphasis on transparency made our own operations more transparent to us," Combs said. "We were able to better analyze where and how we were spending money within our agency and where and how we could save."

View Full Story