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Office of the Comptroller recognizes Sunshine Week, highlights statewide transparency efforts

A stylized version of the Massachusetts State House with rays of the sun behind the golden dome

The Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to recognize Sunshine Week, March 10-16, 2024. Sunshine Week is an annual event that emphasizes the importance of open government and offers an opportunity to highlight the work of organizations that work in the transparency and accountability space. The Office of the Comptroller also recognizes the journalists and news editors who we consider partners in our core values of transparency, accountability, and integrity in state government.

Sunshine Week was launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors. Government transparency offers many benefits for the government and citizens, including helping increase government efficiency and effectiveness. The Office of the Comptroller is spreading the word on government transparency this Sunshine Week on social media to lend a voice to the open government movement. The Office of the Comptroller is sharing the importance of transparent government throughout the entire month of March.

“Transparency promotes efficiency and effectiveness in government,” said Comptroller of the Commonwealth William McNamara. “We join in this celebration of Sunshine Week and hope that residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts take this opportunity to use the resources we provide to become better informed about government finance.”

The Office of the Comptroller has implemented numerous initiatives to maximize the goal of transparency:

NextRequest

The Office of the Comptroller became the first statewide agency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to implement NextRequest, an online public records portal for management of public records requests. NextRequest offers a searchable database of documents provided by the Office of the Comptroller in response to public records requests dating back to 2019.

The Office of the Comptroller has received and responded to an increasing number of public records requests, totaling more than 500 requests since 2016. During calendar year 2023, the Office of the Comptroller responded to 112 public records requests, with an average response time of 4.3 business days.

Users have downloaded 3,551 documents through NextRequest since the office’s implementation of this technology in January 2020.

CTHRU

The Office of the Comptroller maintains CTHRU, located at http://cx.sensadata.net/cthru/,  an online publication of datasets on all aspects of state finance, including statewide payroll and statewide spending. The CTHRU Statewide Spending portal accounts for $88.89 billion in state spending for Fiscal Year 2023, with details on 2.78 million transactions. This figure represents spending through the use of appropriated, capital, federal grant, trust, and non-tax revenue funding sources. In recent years, the Office of the Comptroller has added new datasets to CTHRU, including: