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NHPIRG Education Fund
The Union Leader

CONCORD — A government watchdog group on Wednesday gave the New Hampshire state government a grade of D-minus for its efforts to improve transparency of spending information.

New Hampshire Public Interest Research Group praised the state for instituting the Transparency NH website, which includes an online checkbook register.

But it said the checkbook is difficult to navigate and lacks a search function.

“Citizens expect information to be at their fingertips the way they can view their cellphone minutes or the location of a package. Putting spending information online helps hold government accountable and allows taxpayers to see where the money goes,” said Addie Shankle , advocate at New Hampshire PIRG.

The states with the most transparent spending generally include data on economic development subsidies, expenditures granted through the tax code, and quasi-public agencies. The best state transparency tools are highly searchable, get citizens engaged and include detailed, usable information, PIRG said.

“States that have created or improved their online transparency have typically done so with little upfront cost,” Shankle said. “Given our state budget problems, Granite Staters need to be able to follow the money.”

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