State’s transparency website earns A- rating

DENVER – May 16, 2016 – Colorado’s state government transparency website, the Transparency Online Project (TOPS), recently earned an A- rating for 2016 from the independent U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (U.S. PIRG).

The TOPS website is a look into the state’s checkbook, where anyone can see how taxpayer dollars are being spent.  TOPS was created by an executive order of the Governor in April 2009, and endorsed by the legislature in House Bill 09-1288.

The newest version of the TOPS site is a prime example of successful collaboration between state agencies. Teams from the Office of the State Controller and the Office of Information Technology worked together, along with partners in the Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Colorado Interactive, to update all of the site’s content and load hundreds of thousands of records, improving the state’s financial transparency. 

“We want to operate state government in a transparent way,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper.  “This report demonstrates that our dedicated teams are working hard to ensure we stay accountable to the taxpayers.” 

The TOPS website has steadily improved its score with U.S. PIRG over the past three years, from a B in 2014, to a B+ in 2015, and then an A- this year.  Overall, Colorado’s transparency website ranked eleventh among the 50 states with a score of 93.5 points. 

Research found top-ranked states like Colorado have been making steady improvements to their transparency websites over the years, giving citizens unprecedented access to information on where their tax money goes, according to Elizabeth Ridlington, policy analyst with Frontier Group and co-author of the report.

To see how your tax dollars are spent visit the Colorado TOPS website anytime:

To read the full U.S.PIRG report: Following the Money 2016: