The Public Can Access Raw Data or View A Program Dashboard
The state of Idaho has allocated $536 million in federal funding since the U.S. CARES Act was passed March 27.
Thanks to Transparent Idaho, the state’s portal giving the public access to all state spending data, Idahoans have been able to track every dime.
The allocation of federal dollars — part of $1.25 billion available to the state to help fight the coronavirus — is visible down to each transaction within the portal. Idaho State Controller Brandon Woolf’s office, which runs the portal, has also constructed two dashboards that show important insights into spending.
Along with providing transparency into taxpayer spending, Transparent Idaho acts as the host for the Idaho Rebounds State, Local, and Tribal Community Support portal, which local governments use to submit pandemic-related expenses for the state to reimburse with CARES Act funds.
“Transparent Idaho has always been about increasing trust in state government by illuminating Idaho’s responsible approach to state spending. It is appropriate to expand its function to show the public that Idaho is also spending their federal tax dollars appropriately during this crisis,” Woolf said. “I’m proud of my talented team for its hard work to get Transparent Idaho reporting the state’s CARES Act funds at the same time they were distributed.”
Guided by spending requirements set by Congress, Gov. Brad Little and his Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) evaluate programs and strategic initiatives to help Idaho recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible. One of the strategic initiatives is The Idaho Rebounds Cash Grants for Small Businesses program, which provides a block of available cash for small businesses to receive a one-time grant to counter the negative economic effects of the virus. Other strategic initiatives are processed through the Idaho Rebounds State, Local, and Tribal Community Support program, which provides reimbursements for state, local, and tribal government expenditures used to fight the coronavirus.
Transparent Idaho has developed a dashboard giving overviews on each of the programs, both of which can be accessed on the Transparent Idaho website.
“It is imperative that Idaho do right by its citizens and efficiently funnel these funds to the hard-working entrepreneurs who make up the backbone of our local economies and the local leaders who best understand how to support their communities,” Woolf said. “Likewise, it is critical that all Idahoans can see for themselves that their tax dollars are being spent responsibly during this crisis. We’re pleased to see both of these needs are being met with the help of Transparent Idaho.”
Controller Woolf’s office is collecting cash grant data from the Idaho State Tax Commission and local government spending is collected from the portal housed on Transparent Idaho’s website.
Local government spending is not typically shown on Transparent Idaho, but people interested in how local governments have responded to the coronavirus will be able to see federally reimbursed expenditures by jurisdiction within the portal.
“This federal funding – the taxpayers' money – must be prudently managed on behalf of all taxpayers. These relief dollars have not been used to create new government programs in Idaho, and we have upheld our Constitutional mandate to provide a long-term, structurally balanced budget for the people of Idaho,” Gov. Little said. “I understand the need for transparency around spending public money, and I sincerely appreciate the collaboration we have had with State Controller Brandon Woolf in making this information publicly available. He is truly a champion of transparency in government.”
This is only the beginning for Transparent Idaho’s role in keeping Idahoans informed about COVID-19 crisis spending. Controller Woolf’s office will continue updating the data and adding new data visualizations to make it easier for citizens to stay vigilant, ensuring all federal aid is spent as it was intended.
About Transparent Idaho
Transparent Idaho is a website designed to give the public a full view of government spending, using light to illuminate government finances and increase citizen trust in the state of Idaho. State Controller Brandon Woolf partnered with OpenGov in 2018 to build the system. https://transparent.idaho.gov
About the Idaho State Controller
The elected State Controller is the chief fiscal officer of state government and manages Idaho’s fiscal affairs, which includes paying all obligations of the state, processing payroll for all state employees, publishing Idaho’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), as well as maintaining the centralized financial management reporting and accounting systems. Controller Brandon Woolf is committed to conducting the business of government openly and transparently and leads efforts to improve the openness of government operations, cut costs and increase accountability in state government. http://www.sco.idaho.gov