The Patrick–Murray Administration is committed to providing citizens with open and transparent government.  Last year the legislature passed and the governor signed into law new transparency and accountability reforms as part of the state's FY2011 Budget.  As part of this proactive approach to civic engagement, the Executive Office for Administration & Finance, the Office of the Treasurer and the Office of the Comptroller have been working jointly on the Open Checkbook Project.  Open Checkbook
is meant to be a window into state government and to provide the public with access to State Government spending information.

As employees of the Commonwealth, we wanted to make sure you were aware of the spending information that will now be readily available to the general public as well as to you.

Open Checkbook will detail vendor payments, identifying who was paid and when, how much was paid, who made the payment, and what was the purpose of the payment.

All agency expenditures, including employee earnings and salaries, will also be available for review.  As you are aware, employee salaries are already posted on selected media websites.  The Commonwealth’s website, however, will enable the information to be provided in a more controlled format that more accurately reflects an employee’s annual salary. 

Not all state payments will be displayed. Some payment information will be withheld because it may contain protected information, (e.g., the information for employees who are victims of domestic violence, security number, bank account information or street addresses).  We have taken steps to ensure that proper attention is paid to restricting access, use and disbursement of personal data and information. 

Thank you for your continued service to the Commonwealth. A series of frequently asked questions has been developed to address questions and concerns of employees
(http://www.mass.gov/anf/docs/hrd/policies/files/open-checkbook-faq.doc). If you have further questions about Open Checkbook that are not answered in the FAQ please contact your human resources director.