I donâ€™t live in Milwaukee County, so Iâ€™m not gasping right now. But, gasping or not, Milwaukee County residents have something the rest of us donâ€™t. They have GASP.
GASP is the snappy acronym for CRG Networkâ€™s new Government Accountability in Spending Project. Itâ€™s an online database of information of Milwaukee County governmentâ€™s finances. In the future, more local governments will go on the system. Right now, we can root around in the finances of this one county only. The search engine works like a breeze, and you can export the results of each search to a spreadsheet with an easy Export function.
CRG Network calls this â€œthe ultimate in openness and transparency.â€ At crgnetwork.com itâ€™s explained that â€œScott Walker and the Milwaukee County stepped forward to be the first unit of Wisconsin government to commitâ€ to this citizensâ€™ resource. The project had funding help from the Sam Adams Foundation, National Taxpayers Union, and Citizens in Charge.
Hey, Iâ€™m affiliated with two of these outfits! So I guess Iâ€™m patting myself on the back.
But not really. The hard work was done by the countyâ€™s Information Management Services Division, Controllerâ€™s Office, and Department of Administration, with a lot of help from professional volunteers of the CRG Network.
If you want to see how a local government spends its billions, you can hardly do better than putting Milwaukee County onto your research agenda. Thanks to GASP.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.