A message regarding ‘OpenBook’ from the state DOA

Good morning,

Today (Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014), we launched the beta version of our expenditure disclosure website called OpenBook Wisconsin. This website is the site we told you about last spring that is part of Governor Walker’s on-going effort to make state government more transparent for the citizens of Wisconsin.

OpenBook Wisconsin gives citizens easy access to State of Wisconsin expenditures, or the amount of money we spend to do business. It includes the payments we have made for purchasing goods or services, and we currently include data about the expenditures made by state government from fiscal year 2008 through the most current month. You can search the website database by state agency, expense (expenditure) category and vendor by fiscal year.

As public servants, our expenses are public information. Employee salary and fringe benefit data will not be included in this first phase, although employee names may appear if they have received reimbursement for travel or other work expenses. Please see below for more details.

Employee Information
We have taken precautions to protect sensitive employee information. The OpenBook Wisconsin website will not post the social security number, home address or home telephone number of any employee. Transactions will show the employee’s agency.

Your safety is our priority as we meet our legal obligations to provide public information under state law. While there are very limited reasons which justify the redaction of an employee name under the law, we have taken efforts to redact names that would potentially jeopardize an employee’s safety (for example: an undercover agent or domestic abuse victim).

Future Phases

To comply with state law, we will be adding employee salary and fringe payments data for the State, University of Wisconsin, Legislature and the courts in the future. We will also be adding the grants that have been awarded, as well as the contracts that our state agencies have with vendors.
· Employee salary and fringe benefits: salary information is public under state law. The website will include employees on central payroll including name, agency, class, gross pay, and year to date gross pay. Fringe benefits data will be provided in total, and not listed by individual employees to protect your confidentiality in your health care plan.
· Grants made or contracts entered into: will include capital projects by fiscal year, as well as contracts by fiscal year.
If you have concerns that your safety may be jeopardized by including your name on the website, please contact your Human Resources Director. Your agency will work with legal counsel to determine if your name should be redacted.

We are excited about this opportunity to make state government more transparent for the citizens of Wisconsin.

Thank you,

Chris Schoenherr
Deputy Secretary
Wisconsin Department of Administration

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