Making The Grade: Denver Ranks High For Spending Transparency
A Colorado consumer advocacy group gives the city of Denver a ‘B’ grade for spending transparency. The report rates the 30 largest U.S. cities on how well they provide online information about city spending, subsidies, contracts, and service requests.
Danny Katz, director of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), says while Denver isn’t at the top of the list, it outperforms most other cities in the report.
"Bottom line, they’re doing the most important things really well," he says. "They have checkbook-level details available on their website of how they’re spending money, they have easy access to the budgets and financial reports; and they also provide clear opportunities for residents to request services, and to follow up on those services."
Denver Deputy Mayor and CFO Cary Kennedy welcomed the report, which was released Wednesday. “Denver is very proud of its award-winning annual financial reports, its easily accessible citizen reports, and its ongoing efforts to make it easy for citizens to access and explore how their city spends taxpayer money,” Kennedy said in a release.
Katz says transparency in city spending is important because it promotes fiscal responsibility, reduces corruption, and boosts public confidence in government. He's pleased with the response the report has gotten from Denver officials.
"I think just the fact that they’ve gotten a good grade this time around shows they take this seriously," says Katz. "They’ve already met with us and indicated that they are happy that we are providing this information to them, and I think they have plans – whether it’s this report or outside the report, I think they have some plans of continuing to improve transparency for Denver."
Just over half of the 30 cities in the report also received a B grade. Denver was ranked at number 6 overall.
Find the full report here.
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