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LPSS launches transparency website

Posted: 10:28 AM, Sep 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-18 11:39:07-04

LAFAYETTE, La. – The Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) today launched LafayetteCheckbook.com , becoming the first local government entity in Louisiana to provide total financial transparency to the public, according to an LPSS press release.

“The Lafayette Parish School Board is the first governmental entity in the state of Louisiana to give the public this level of access to information, and I hope we won’t be the last,” said School board president, Erik Knezek. “Our LafayetteCheckbook.com portal now allows every citizen to query and account for every cent spent on every item in our budget. The user-friendly interface will help re-establish trust between citizens and their local
governments; I encourage other public entities to follow the courageous lead of the school board in doing the same.”

LafayetteCheckbook.com is the result of a partnership between the school system and OpenGov, a technology company that offers software for public sector budgeting, reporting, and open data, to further increase the system’s effectiveness and accountability.

“Our open data portal is a win-win for the Lafayette Parish School System and the community,” said OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman. “On average, governments receive 20 percent less requests for information after they launch their OpenGov open data portals. That means citizens are getting the information they need, and it saves governments time and energy that can be spent elsewhere.”

“A government entity’s financial records belong to the public, and today’s technology means we as custodians of those records have a duty to make them available in the easiest, most transparent and accessible way possible,” said District 6 Board Member Justin Centanni. “Even as a board member, it’s cumbersome getting complete access to this data, but no more. Now begins the fun part – we invite the public to visit LafayetteCheckbook.com and dig deep. Let us know where you see potential savings and waste, and together we’ll continue being good, accountable stewards of taxpayer dollars. After all, it’s your money. You should know how every penny is being
spent.”

The School Board voted unanimously on March 7 to create its own fiscal transparency website. The local site goes a step further by uploading every financial transaction on a nightly basis, according to an LPSS press release. This system delivers the gold standard in government transparency at cost of $39,000.