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Boston Herald
Ira Kantor

The Bay State has received an “A-” grade when it comes to government spending transparency, climbing to second best in the nation, according to an annual report released today by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

The leading states, in order, with the most comprehensive transparency websites are Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Oklahoma.

Last year, Massachusetts was ranked fourth best in the country. Massachusetts was awarded an “F” in MassPIRG’S first survey in 2010.
While this is the second consecutive year that Massachusetts’ transparency website has earned an “A-”, MassPIRG said it was important to note that its surveys get more difficult each year as technology improves and consumer expectations rise.
The report describes Massachusetts as a “leading state” because the user-friendly website allows users to monitor the payments made to vendors through contracts, grants, tax credits and other discretionary spending, officials said, adding the website also “very clearly discloses” what it does and does not include.

“A- is pretty good, but A+ is better,” said Gov. Deval Patrick in a statement. “Massachusetts has never had more transparency in state government, and I am proud of that; but our citizens deserve to have us work even harder to leave behind a truly results-oriented, accountable government.”

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