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Crist, Sink unveil Sunshine spending Web site to help track taxpayer dollars

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By The Staff

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced Tuesday a new Web site that will allow Floridians to track how state government spends their taxpayer dollars: www.MyFlo-ridaCFO.com/SunshineSpending.

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The launch of the Sunshine Spending Web site comes during Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of Florida’s dedication to making state and local government more accessible to the public.

“Now more than ever, as Florida faces historic economic challenges, the people of Florida need to know that state agencies are investing their hard-earned taxpayer dollars responsibly,” Crist said. “The Sunshine Spending Web site is a great first step that will help citizens hold state government accountable.”

“For the last two years, I have worked to make Tallahassee more open and accountable to Florida’s taxpayers,” said Sink. “I am pleased that Floridians will be able to know exactly who is spending and who is getting their tax dollars, and glad we were able to provide this transparent step at no extra cost to Floridians.”

Updated every night, the site is an important step toward increased fiscal accountability in state spending. The site allows citizens to conduct a basic search for vendors and other recipients of state funds by the first part of the vendor’s name. It was created using existing resources, with no additional tax dollars spent to create or maintain it.

The site was produced by the Department of Financial Services in conjunction with representatives from the Governor’s office, Americans for Tax Reform and the James Madison Institute.

Currently, most state agencies include a list of contracts of at least over $25,000 in the open government section of their Web site. In conjunction with this information, the Sunshine Spending Web site will allow citizens to access additional information about payments to vendors.

On Sunshine Spending, citizens can access the following information:

• Payment totals to a vendor for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2004-5. Information for the current fiscal year is updated nightly.

• Detailed information about each payment, including the requesting state agency. The phone number for the agency’s finance and accounting contact person, and document numbers related to the payment to assist with further requests for public records.

For the Sunshine Spending Web site, please visit: www.MyFloridaCFO.com/SunshineSpending or www.FL-Gov.com/SunshineSpending.