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Indiana found most transparent in study of state data access

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California, the U.S. state with the largest population and budget, offers the least website access to its government spending data, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group.

Indiana provided the most information, and Oregon, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts also scored high with online disclosure of details on contracts, expenditures and economic-development subsidies, the report released Tuesday found.

Alaska and Idaho also got failing grades. New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie pledged unprecedented transparency, ranked 30th.

Last year was the first that all 50 states operated websites to make information on state spending accessible to the public, according to the not-for-profit group, which advocates for transparency in government. North Carolina and Colorado were among the 10 whose access improved the most since 2013.

California, with a proposed $106.8 billion annual budget, a record high, provided no ability to search contracts and expenditures by recipient, keyword or agency. On economic development, it had no web-based detail on areas including projected and actual public benefits, tax-expenditure reports and recouped funds.

Michael Liang, a spokesman for the California Department of General Services, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call or an e-mail for comment on the study.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. last year created a "Transparency Portal," which allows users to search for and view incentive contracts the state has reached with companies.

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