Transparency in government doesn’t just happen

Transparency in government doesn't just happen

Officials need to disclose travel expenses

We’re not usually ones to seek a lot of credit, but we’re going to make an exception this time.  The Providence Journal published an article titled “Officials disclose travel expenses” on Monday, April 29th in which they write, “The state Ethics Commission added that requirement last year after The Journal raised questions about who financed some recent state lawmaker trips.”  They were referring to a new question on the financial disclosure form that elected and select appointed officials are required to file in Rhode Island.  The question is there because of a rule-making process the Ethics Commission engaged in during 2012 and requires disclosure of any out-of-state travel worth over $250 the public official took that was provided by a third party. 

That rule-making began because Common Cause Rhode Island sent a letter to the Ethics Commission requesting adoption of such a rule.  It took six months time, repeated testimony on our part, and the voices of dozens of Common Cause members to get this rule passed.  We’re excited to see the new transparency this rule will bring, but would like to make sure you know, transparency in government doesn’t just happen.