Group to focus on transparency issues

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 01-Jul-2010

Oklahomans for Responsible Government (OFRG) is narrowing its mission to deal with all levels of transparency in government in Oklahoma. The move will not change the group’s organization or staff.

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Brian Downs, executive director of the group, said, “Since OFRG started in January of 2008, the one issue that has gotten the most attention has been making government more transparent. From our Blueprint for Transparency series that looked at information provided on school district and municipal websites to tracking stimulus spending, Oklahomans have continually told us that they want a brighter light shining on how government is spending money and providing information.”

With the change, OFRG will step away from the legislative process and solely focus on educating taxpayers on how all levels of government are operating. The organization will recognize individuals and groups that are working to provide more transparency and foster the Government 2.0 model to become a resource for those wanting to improve the connection between government and its citizens.

“Our new focus will enable the taxpayer to see what’s going on,” said Downs. “That goes for cities, counties and school districts as well as the state.  All levels of government need to be more open.”

“OFRG’s mission statement had included improving transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility in state government. It is our belief that a more open process will result in more responsible spending and citizens holding lawmakers accountable for that spending. OFRG will also continue its fight against State Question 744 on the ballot in November.”