For the Good of Illinois

Subscriber Special: Demanding Wyoming State Checkbook Transparency

June 15, 2018 05:00 AM
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"Just what is hidden inside the Wyoming state checkbook?
We are fighting for a speedy answer."
 
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Our Demand Letter to the Wyoming State Auditor
 
Today, our demand letter to the Wyoming state auditor sets a deadline of July 15, 2018 for production of the state checkbook.
 
The state auditor is slow-walking production of the state checkbook. It's taking longer to produce the checkbook than it took to actually cut the checks!
 
Read the demand letter, click here.
 On February 18, 2018, State Auditor Cynthia Cloud made us refile our open records request for the Wyoming state checkbook and then charged us $8,000 in fees. But production has been slow – and at this pace, we’ll receive all the records by 2048. 
 
Why would it take 30 years to produce just five years of state spending?
 
It’s been 15 weeks since we filed our latest request for the state checkbook (our fourth request). We demanded record production on a rolling basis. So far, we’ve received just 12 days of state spending records. At this rate, it’ll take 30 years (1,300 work days). 
 
Over the past three years, Cloud and Deputy State Auditor Sandy Urbanek made some ridiculous claims to hide state spending while rejecting our previous requests in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Here are just a few examples:
  • It’s an "undue burden." False. The auditor argues on her website that transparency is a top priority of her office. Well, a top priority can’t be an undue burden.
  • It’ll take "years and years" for checkbook production. False. In 2016, we found the auditor’s office contracted for a $63-million accounting software package. How fast do you think this software can produce a basic line-by-line checkbook.
  • It’s "private information." False. The addresses of state vendors are not private information as initially claimed by the auditor. Government vendor data is public information in all 50 states and at the federal level.
And there's a lot more! Read our editorial published online today at Forbes.
 
Slow-walking records subject to open records statutes raises troubling questions for Wyoming taxpayers. Just what is hidden inside the Wyoming state checkbook? We are fighting for a speedy answer. 
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It's Your Money! Join the Transparency Revolution!
 
Jessie_signature
Jessie Fox
Communications Specialist
 
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)
CEO & Founder, OpenTheBooks.com
 
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director at Large
 
 
 

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