Hawaii gets a “C” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to Following the Money 2014: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data.

But that’s good news, considering that we got an “F” in last year’s report. Of the 50 states, Hawaii’s had the second-most improved score. 

It’s the fifth annual report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

“State governments across the country have become more transparent about where public money goes, providing citizens with the information they need to hold elected officials and recipients of public subsidies accountable,” said Phineas Baxandall, senior analyst with the education fund, which works to protect consumers and promote good government. “We’re hoping that Hawaii will be a leader next year.”

Hawaii is one of eight states that launched transparency websites since last year’s report. The Department of Budget and Finance launched a website that creates “a one-stop source for Hawaii’s expenditure and financial information, and even provides the data in charts, graphs, reports and tables,” according to the education fund.


Photo: Screen shot, April 8, 2014. (Hawaii’s Transparency website

—Chad Blair