News From Kevin Lembo

COMPTROLLER LEMBO ANNOUNCES NEW TRANSPARENCY TOOL FOCUSED ON QUASI-PUBLIC AGENCIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2020

 

Contact: Tyler Van Buren
               860-702-3325
               Tyler.VanBuren@ct.gov


Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in partnership with the CT Data Collaborative (CTData), announced today the launch of “OpenQuasi,” a transparency tool that allows users to explore checkbook and payroll information for Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies.

OpenQuasi is the latest expansion to the OpenConnecticut suite of online tools that provide the public with unprecedented access to state financial information. In previous years, quasi-public agencies had voluntarily submitted select checkbook data to the Office of the State Comptroller. Legislation championed by Lembo and open government advocates in 2019 made those data submissions mandatory and included, for the first time, compensation information for quasi-public employees.

“While quasi-public agencies often straddle the line between the public and private sectors, they were created to serve the public interest and are owed the same transparency as other government operations,” said Comptroller Lembo. “I hope Connecticut residents will find this data useful and policymakers will utilize it to continuously evaluate and improve upon critical public functions.”

OpenQuasi can be found at OpenQuasi.ct.gov, or through OpenConnecticut on the comptroller’s website: osc.ct.gov. The application was built in partnership with The Connecticut Data Collaborative at no cost to the state. Updated data will be collected from the quasi-public agencies on an annual basis and OpenQuasi will be updated accordingly.

“At CTData, our mission is to increase public data accessibility,” said Michelle Riordan-Nold, Executive Director of CTData. “Through this tool, we helped to not only make the data available but also accessible to a broad audience of users.”

OpenQuasi features complete checkbook-level expenditures including the recipient, expense type and amount paid. Additionally, compensation data, including fringe, is available for every quasi-public employee. The application also features age and demographic information for each agency as a continuation of Comptroller Lembo’s work on equity in government employment.

“The Green Bank was an early and active participant in OpenCT,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank, “and this new resource shows exceptional transparency. When you are responsible for managing ratepayer resources in a way that delivers societal benefits to families and businesses, it is critically important to remember that transparency of information on transactions and compensation go hand-in-hand with that mission.”

OpenConnecticut now features:

  • OpenCheckbook — real-time data on state spending
  • OpenBudget — detailed revenue and expenditure data to follow the state budget
  • OpenPayroll — real-time salary and compensation data for state employees
  • OpenPension — real-time compensation data for state retirees
  • DIY Revenue Calculator — interactive tool to measure impact of tax and revenue changes
  • OpenCT — centralized home for fiscal documents, reports, information and resources

“Government transparency has no finish line,” said Comptroller Lembo. “I’m consistently looking for new and innovative ways to bring public data directly to the people of Connecticut. The best way to grow trust in government, and engage more people in the process, is to throw open the doors and invite the public inside.”

The Connecticut Data Collaborative (CTData) is a statewide public-private partnership that advocates for the public availability of open and accessible data, serving nonprofits, advocates, policymakers, community groups, and funders in using data to drive policy and improve programs and services, budgeting and decision making at the state, regional and local levels.


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