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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NM Government Sunshine Portal to Launch Thursday

Up and running! The state’s new on-line website where the public can easily discover all sorts of interesting things about state government financing and spending is being launched this week ahead of its deadline. A hands-on demonstration of the official accountability and transparency portal for New Mexico State Government will take place at a news conference on Thursday at 9:30 AM at the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque, according to a statement released by the New Mexico Legislature.

Participants will include State Senator Sander Rue, Sponsor of SB 195 (New Mexico Transparency Act); Marlin Mackey, Cabinet Secretary of the Dept. of Information Technology; Steve Schroeder, President and CEO of RealTimeSites; and Sarah Welch, NM Foundation for Open Government (FOG).

On the Sunshine Portal, the public can find such things as:

  • Does the government department responsible for creating jobs buy locally to help local business or does it have mostly out-of-state vendors?
  • Are New Mexico investments making or losing money?
  • Which construction company has the most lucrative highway contracts?
  • Do New Mexico small businesses have a fair share of state contracts or do most of the contracts go to the larger businesses?

Soon the public can go on-line to the state’s Sunshine Portal to access this and other relevant information about state finances and operations with search and detailed drill-down capabilities. While the website will be up and running ahead of its July 1, 2011 deadline, the state is calling it a “beta release” that gives the media and members of the public the opportunity to use the website now and offer suggestions for improvements and feedback about any glitches to the Department of Information Technology.

State Senator Sander Rue (R-Albuquerque-23), who sponsored the Sunshine Portal Transparency Act that authorized the new website, said, “With the click of a mouse, the public can more actively participate in its state government. This one-stop shop website allows members of the public to more readily and easily become engaged in how government runs with our tax dollars. I am excited about having more eyes examining the operation of government because I believe that will lead to more government efficiencies and savings. I hope our new website becomes a “favorite” on many computers.”

Features of the website include:

  • Annual operating budgets for each state agency with monthly expenditures by category.
  • The State Investment Council’s monthly summary of state investments.
  • A directory of all employee positions, titles and salaries.
  • The revenue the state has received by type such as: tax, fee, fine.
  • The State’s check ledger: regular updates of the state’s cash balances.

SB 195, which was passed during the 2010 session of the New Mexico Legislature, was co-sponsored by Sen. Sander Rue (R-Albuquerque) and Rep. Nate Cote (D-Las Cruces). The legislation was strongly supported by Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who worked hard to gain bipartisan support for the measure. Lt. Gov. Denish also signed the bill on March 5, 2010, while serving as Acting Governor.

The Albuquerque-based RealTimeSites software company designed and developed the Sunshine Portal.

December 15, 2010 at 10:31 AM in Diane Denish, Government, NM Legislature 2010, Transparency | Permalink