Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 in review: A look at transparency and agency oversight

In the area of government modernization and agency oversight, legislators passed bills requiring transparency in agency operation.

HB 2319 adds language which states that if a legislatively created task force or similar advisory body does not meet at least once or issue a final report within three years of the date in which the law that created it became effective, that task force will cease to have any authority and be terminated.This applies to all legislatively created task forces and advisory bodies regardless of when they were created.

HB 2698 creates the Oklahoma Government Website Information Act. This bill requires public bodies to make available on their website on or before January 1, 2011, any administrative rules the public body uses to operate, proposed administrative rules, statutes affecting the public body and the way it operates, and statutes the public may find useful when interacting with the public body.

HB 3422 requires the Office of State Finance (OSF) to update the state’s Open Books website with Open Books 2.0 by January 1, 2011. Open Books 2.0 will be a more expansive, searchable online database that lists individual expenditures, regardless of amount, separate from aggregated amounts. Within 18 months of Open Books 2.0 being online, OSF must create an online archive for each fiscal year beginning with FY-2011 and that archive must be accessible and searchable to online users.

HB 3422 also requires the Oklahoma Tax Commissionto prepare and maintain a list of all taxpayers who have claimed any tax credit authorized by any provisions of state law and related to a tax administered by the Tax Commission. This includes the identity of all taxpayers or organizations having any part in the chain of custody or claim to the credit at any time during the credit’s existence from the initial time the credit is earned through the time that the credit is claimed on a tax return. It requires the Office of State Finance to make this list available on the internet. The list must include the name of each taxpayer who claimed a credit, the amount of such credit, and the specific statutory provision under which the credit was claimed. The list must be updated least monthly.

Location:N Lincoln Blvd,Oklahoma City,United States

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