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State budget office makes it easier to track spending

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 13, 2008

OLYMPIA—Thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Washington will be among a handful of states with websites to help citizens get a closer look at how state government works.

The state Office of Financial Management launched an expanded portal on performance data. Its “Performance and Results” site includes agency strategic plans, budget activities, performance measures, personal services contracts and other spending data to round out the picture. The site also contains links to other sites, including the Office of the State Auditor, where state agency performance audits are posted.

"People need to know how the state invests their tax dollars and the benefits we receive from those investments," said OFM Director Victor Moore. "Our new site will be a one-stop way to see how state agencies are spending and to show the results that come from those investments. We are making it as easy as we can to let people know what happens to their money."

Moore explains that the performance measures included on the OFM site serve additional duty: They are also key to the budget-building process now under way at the state budget office. That innovative process, "Priorities of Government," identifies the services delivered by state government and expected by citizens. The governor will unveil in December her proposed budget for 2009–11.

"By adding the results of state spending, we demonstrate to taxpayers that we are responsible stewards of their money," Moore said. "Other states talk about accountability, yet report only on what state agencies spend. We go farther than almost every other state in the country by reporting what we get for that money."

In addition, Senate Bill 6818, passed during the 2008 legislative session, requires that the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program develop a website detailing expenditures by state agencies. The site will link to that of OFM, which as the state budget office is responsible for state agency budgets and related material.

Visit OFM’s site at: http://www.ofm.wa.gov/performance.

Contact: Glenn Kuper, Office of Financial Management, 360-902-7607