WUFT News

Florida’s Transparency 2.0, with $5 million taxpayer price tag, still not available to public

By on December 10th, 2012

What if you could easily follow the money Florida spends on one website? That’s the idea behind a budget transparency program that has been around for a year, cost $5 million in state funds and remains under review in the Florida Senate.

However, the vendor behind the program says that it will cost even more to open the system up to allow the public to view it.

The new program has been dubbed Transparency 2.0 and was created by a company called Spider Data Systems. Current senate president Don Gaetz said in a statement on Friday that the senate and Spider Data systems negotiated a contract in 2011 to develop “a website to make it easier for legislators and legislative staff to track state spending and contracting.”

First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Petersen said the program is now coming under fire because it has yet to be released to the public.

“I’m a little astonished,” said Petersen, who noted the program has been in operation for a year but not made available. “…to talk about letting the public see how the government spends our money, (the program’s unavailability) makes no sense to me.”

Petersen tested the new program and compares it favorably against a previous transparency program.

“Transparency 2.0, the $5 million website, not only connects all those dots, it gives me dots I never even thought of. I compare it to an iPhone and a rotary phone.”

While Transparency 2.0 cost nearly five million taxpayer dollars, District 7 State Senator Rob Bradley says the original contract with Spider Data Systems never included public disclosure.

“That’s certainly a concern to me, and I know it’s a concern to (senate) president Gaetz.”

Spider Data Systems specified that “allowing the media and public access to the site would require an undetermined additional investment of taxpayer money over and above the five million dollars already spent,” Gaetz said in his statement.

Petersen says the contract between the Florida senate and Spider Data Systems will be up for negotiation soon and this may give the opportunity to allow public access.


This entry was posted in Florida, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • David

    Check out SmartProcure.us. It’s available to government agencies at no charge and has local and federal data included as well.

 

More Stories in Florida

The Ocala City Council repealed the so-called "saggy pants" ordinance at Ocala City Hall on Tuesday evening. The ordinance banned saggy pants on city property.

Ocala City Council Repeals ‘Saggy Pants’ Ordinance

The Ocala City Council voted to repeal an ordinance banning saggy pants on city property. The controversial ordinance met with criticism from the NAACP.


City of Hampton Kicks Off New Era with First Election In About a Decade

The city of Hampton holds its first election in about 10 years today after state lawmakers give local leaders a second chance instead of dissolving the city. Citizens will vote to fill city council seats and approve charter amendments.


Marty Washington, 57, of Gainesville, Florida walks by the City of Waldo Police Department on Wednesday, September 3. Waldo is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after being accused of issuing illegal ticket quotas for officers.

Steve Maynard Named Waldo’s Interim Police Chief

The Alachua County Sherriff’s Office has named Acting Captain Steve Maynard as Waldo’s new interim police chief, after the previous chief was accused of enacting illegal ticket quotas.


National Report, a satirical website, published a story stating Williston had signed a deal to replace the local police department with a privatized force. According to the article, the new police force would be "trained, managed, and wholly operated by Walmart."

Spoof Website Turns Attention to Williston Police Department

National Report, a satirical news website, drew attention to the Williston Police Department after publishing an article about a deal made with Walmart to supply the town with a new, privatized police force. Williston PD pointed out the satirical nature of the story on Facebook.


Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 4.01.08 PM

Former Waldo Police Chief Accused of Unlawful Ticket Quota

Former Waldo Police Chief Mike Szabo and current Cpl. Kenneth Smith have been accused of misrepresentation, fraud and enforcing unlawful ticketing quotas among other allegations made by current Waldo police officers.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments