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Getting serious about governmental transparency

February 26, 2009

By Lt. Governor André Bauer

In the face of continuing news reports of lost, found, and stolen state funds, I am unveiling the Lieutenant Governor’s Office transparency initiative that can be quickly adopted at little cost by all state agencies, giving taxpayers an unprecedented view of state finances.

As a true conservative I believe that the people, the voters, the taxpayers, my constituents, have an absolute right to know how state government is handling their finances.

Therefore I am as shocked as any other taxpayer to hear about $5 million being stolen from Department of Social Services, one $7,000 check after another for more than five years.

I am as frustrated as any other elected official to hear that while we grapple with cuts to hospice programs for seniors and autism services for children, hundreds of millions of dollars are hidden from public view in reserve accounts by the Department of Health and Human Services.

I am as baffled as any business person that $250,000 for a veterans program can be ‘lost’ in the Governor’s Office, only to be quickly ‘found’ when a legislator calls for an audit.

Therefore I am completely delighted to implement a solution that lets anyone go to the internet and view what is tantamount to the monthly bank statement for every state agency.

This builds on the commendable efforts of Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom to provide taxpayers what are essentially the cancelled checks of South Carolina state government.

But, we can — and we must — do much more.

I applaud him for embracing my initiative by going the further step, which places on the internet a current report used by all state agencies and issued by his office – and is the equivalent of a monthly bank statement. It shows not only the checks written, but the balances.

My staff and Comptroller General Eckstrom’s staff are working together to make this process more user friendly. The beginning point is for state agencies to turn these monthly reports into pdf files that can be placed on the internet with little cost. Our objective ultimately is to adapt technology so that these reports become data bases that can be researched by taxpayers.

In the meantime, today I am sending every agency head in South Carolina my personal request that they take the identical steps we have taken in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Let’s restore taxpayer confidence in our stewardship of their money. Let’s get serious about transparency. The people who pay the bills – the hard-working taxpayers of South Carolina – deserve no less.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2009 2:08 pm

    Nice info! Very cool post.I have looked over your blog a few times and I love it.

  2. Bill permalink
    February 26, 2009 6:24 pm

    When is Bauer going to open the books on Senior Shield? When he shows all spending and income in his government subsidized slush fund, then we know he is serious. Till then it is all trash talk.

    Open those books and show us where you spent our money…that’s right…OUR MONEY!

  3. Frank permalink
    February 26, 2009 9:35 pm

    You mean the records that were turned over to the Charleston Post and Courier and AP five months ago after the first of your anonymous comments began appearing? Senior Shield scares the living daylights out of people who have made a great living stealing from honest people. They make wild, anonymous accusations in an attempt to discredit the idea of commercial transparency. All Senior Shield does is allow businesses to demonstrate that they do it “right,” by paying taxes, being legitimate and crime free with no pattern of regulatory or consumer complaints. Funny thing: People, consumers, are realizing that in this day and age we need to know who we are spending our bucks with. Bauer had the top federal people in on this Senior Shield from the beginning, and everybody likes it — except people who have been ripping off people for years.

  4. Bill permalink
    February 27, 2009 6:21 am

    Mr. Adams,

    Would you know the truth if you saw it?

    Post the records of Senior Shild online or shut up about being honest and transparent.

    Bauer said “Let’s restore taxpayer confidence in our stewardship of their money. Let’s get serious about transparency. The people who pay the bills – the hard-working taxpayers of South Carolina – deserve no less.

    Let him show us where he spent our tax dollars in his tax payer supported slush fund known as Senior Shield

  5. Frank permalink
    February 27, 2009 6:55 pm

    Bill, if you will call me, I will schedule a meeting with Tom Lain, the treasurer of the Senior Shield Board of Directors. He can go over with you the complete financial information that was reviewed by the Board of Directors at its Dec. 10 meeting.

    Obviously you know who I am and how to reach me since you jumped from my posted first name to my unposted last name. I very much would like to thoroughly address your fears, which is very difficult to do in postings to anonymous contributors. Ball is in your court, sir. Please call.

  6. Bill permalink
    February 28, 2009 12:55 pm

    Why don’t you just post them on line just like your boss says?


  1. Bauer’s Transparency Initiative a Bit Opaque
  2. Bauer’s Transparency Initiative a Bit Opaque | The Nerve

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