Over the past 10 years, Nassau County has been rocked by a litany of scandals, many of which stem from contracts being awarded to favored vendors who offer kickbacks to elected officials. Thankfully, Nassau has taken a giant step toward cleaning up corruption and providing much needed oversight on outside contracts.
Residents can now view how the county spends more than $1 billion on outside vendors through an online portal. Comptroller Jack Schnirman created the Nassau County Open Checkbook to release data on payments made to outside vendors, contractors, and other municipalities.
Schnirman said the platform will be updated monthly and will include county budget and payroll data by 2020. However, Newsday reports that the checkbook does not plan to include names and salaries of Nassau employees.
As technology continues to play an increasingly significant role in the lives of New Yorkers, access to data on the inner workings of their local government plays an important role in keeping residents engaged.
The tool allows residents to be a watchdog over county government. The public can expose conflicts of interest as they will gain more insight on where the county spends taxpayer dollars.
Making so much data publicly available serves as a powerful tool to help hold the city’s government officials accountable and can serve as a deterrent from them engaging in unethical behavior.
Have you used Nassau County’s Open Checkbook? Let us know in the comments below.
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