Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) said he is “beyond frustrated” that Governor Corzine’s ‘transparency’ website isn’t user friendly for taxpayers.
“The site provides only the vaguest information on how government money is spent, and nothing on who gets the taxes and fees collected from state residents,” Pennacchio said. “It also does nothing to help taxpayers track how billions of dollars of federal aid are spent by state and local governments, who gets billions of dollars in aid to schools and municipalities, or how hundreds of millions of dollars in tolls and fees collected by sports, highway, port and bridge authorities are doled out.
“Taxpayers have a right to know where every dime of their money is being spent. This website, whether by accident or design, falls far short of meeting that goal,” Pennacchio said.
“Although we appreciate the Governor’s efforts, it is too little and too late for this administration to claim any victory on transparency. I challenge anyone to try using this new site to determine who received government money or to find anything but the sketchiest details of what the money was spent on,” Pennacchio said.
“Taxpayers are demanding that detailed information on every expenditure of local, state and federal money made in New Jersey is immediately and easily accessible to them. We have the technology. The expense is inconsequential compared to the potential benefits.”
Pennacchio said the state controller should immediately investigate how much money was spent creating Governor Corzine’s attempt at online transparency, and that the every dime spent in this effort should be itemized and placed on the new “Transparency” site.
“If New Jersey spent more than $200 on this website, it was $200 too much,” Pennacchio said. “It’s time to pass S-708, sponsored by myself and Senator Codey, so that we can begin the real effort to bring online transparency and accountability to state and local government.”
Pennacchio is the sponsor of S-708, the Transparency in Government Act.