Bolstering Government Transparency in New Hampshire

An Evaluation of Challenges and Best Practices in Online Fiscal Transparency Across the United States
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1314-05
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A transparent system for accessing New Hampshire’s government spending and revenue collection is an essential component of ensuring the state’s accountability to its citizens. The public has the right to understand where its state receives revenue, how its tax contributions are spent, and who receives these allocations of money. One of the most effective means for dispensing government statistical information is through a user- friendly web portal. New Hampshire currently maintains TransparentNH for this purpose. However, the website has ranked at the bottom of state transparency reviews in the past. As such, the website has not developed to its full potential and could be improved by adopting innovative, effective strategies for content, presentation, and coordination. We aim to guide the Commission on Innovation, Efficiency and Transparency in progressing towards a wider availability of online data, better organization of that data, and the establishment of a performance-based reporting system. We explore other states’ online transparency initiatives in order to offer a set of recommendations to New Hampshire as it reevaluates TransparentNH.