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Report: Vt. doing better on transparency in government spending - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Report: Vt. doing better on transparency in government spending

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Vermont receives top marks in a reviewof government spending transparency just a few years after getting a failinggrade.

Vermont and seven other statesreceived A-minuses fromthe U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Vermont got an F in the same reportback in 2010, followed by grades of D and C in following years.

Members of Vermont's Public InterestGroup say the launch of a searchable website detailing government spending isthe biggest factor in the turnaround.

"With your checkbookyou see what payments are going out, who they're going to, and what they'rebeing used for. This same checkbook level transparency has become state of theart when it comes to finding out how governments are spending taxpayer dollarswell," said Paul Burns of VPIRG.

Gov. Peter Shumlin saysthe goal is to provide similar tools for other government functions.

Despite the success inturning around its spending transparency, the state continues to score poorlyon overall transparency ratings.

The report highlighted www.spotlight.vermont.gov, a website full of financial data maintained by the Department of Finance and Management.

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