Navigating the MAP
When you first go to the site, you can search the information in three ways: by category, vendor or contract. For vendor and contract, you need a specific name or business to search for. If you're just curious, choosing categories gives you types of expenses to browse through.
All of this information has always been available to the public, but never so easily. Missouri launched the Missouri Accountability Portal in hopes of increasing transparency in state government.
The public used to wait until the end of the year to see a detailed account of government spending. Now the information is updated every night.
"Any citizen in the state of Missouri can now go on the web and actually take a look at what happened the day before in state government, going back for seven years," said Richard Aubuchon of the Missouri Office of Administration.
The information also takes less time to find.
"Okay, say you wanted to find out how much money the state of Missouri has spent on travel in the last year. Well, before this website, you would have had to request hundreds of pages of reports and documents, then sort through them. Now with the Missouri Accountability Portal, you can find out the same information in just four clicks," said Aubuchon.
Governor Blunt started the project as a service for taxpayers.
"It's a good reminder to everybody that these are not the state's dollars. They're dollars that belong to Missouri taxpayers. And it's a great way to enhance accountability," said Blunt.
Right now, the site only shows who gets the money and how much. Eventually, the state wants to put the expense report online so you can find out why we spent the money. Also, starting in Jan., you will be able to see how much every state employee makes.